Water is everything for farmers. If there is no water, their lives become miserable even if they own huge acres of land. The drought situation in North Karnataka, as in some other parts of India, has been grim for many years. Some of the districts in the region, such as Navalgund, have been officially declared as a drought-affected district by the state government due to the severity of water scarcity.
Farmers in the locality are catastrophically affected by the drought. Deshpande Foundation’s Farm pond initiative has succeeded to a great extent in helping farmers with water harvesting and irrigation practices during the tough drought phase.
Arvind Kulkarni is one such innovative farmer in the village who owns 20 acres of farmland. He is a very active farmer in his village who invests in agricultural technologies with high interest and is one of the ideal farmers who helps other farmers in his village. He was always keen in constructing a farm pond, but did not have access to the construction equipment and technology. With the help of Sandbox, he was able to build a farm pond sized 15 foot 100×100 ft in a half acre plot for a cost of INR 76,000.
With the new pond, he reaped annual profits of INR 6 lakh through crops like wheat, green gram, sunflower, maize, and jowar. He now plans to eventually breed fish in the farm pond.
Since 2014, helping many farmers like Arvind, the program has rapidly scaled to construct nearly two thousand ponds that have impacted about nine thousand lives.