80% population of Chhattisgarh State is rural and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture and agriculture based small industries. The economy of the state is mainly based on agriculture and forestry. The agriculture sector contributes around 38% to the State’s Net Domestic Product. In this state agriculture is mainly done in rain fed conditions and variation in the yearly rainfall directly affects crops. Obviously, irrigation is the prime need of the state for its overall development and therefore the state government has given top priority to development of irrigation potential.
Chhattisgarh state consists of 27 districts,Jashpur is one of the backward districts of the state. It is situated in the north-eastern part of the State. Area of the district is 6088 sq Km. It is rich in forest resources and the majority of its Population belongs to the Scheduled Tribes. Land is mainly of two types, Balua Soil in hilly region which is not fertile,mixed type of crop is grown here, land in plain area is fertile.The main perennial rivers of thedistrict are Lawa, Ib, Maini and Shankh.climate of the district is verypeculiar with upper ghat much colder whilelower region is warm. The climate here ismoist as heavy rainfall occurs here. The average rainfall of the district is 1512.8 MM.total irrigated area in jashpur is 291497hectare out of which 17812 hectare is netcropped area. As per official data,there are 41 minor irrigation system developed. There are many tiny & small stop damsproposed under various scheme which willbring more area under agriculture.
Ever since emergence of Jashpur as district, it was evident that it has great potential to deliver true sense of high economic value to the state as well as the country. To keep up to the expectation, it was necessary to fill the critical gaps in the area of infrastructure development, livelihood promotion and other related activities. So, a special scheme was required to meet the challenges ahead of tribal district Jashpur.
Considering all above mentioned facts CREDA (Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency ) has formulated and completed two Solar Community Minor Lift Irrigation Schemes in villages Harradipa and Baghmudi of block Duldula of Jashpur District. In These Villages a large number of farmers were not having any means of electricity for Irrigation. In survey we found that there is approximately 130 acre land was continuously not irrigated in other seasons except rainy season because of lack of electricity. There were having only one-one bore near there agricultural land in villages. But because of unavailability of electricity, the available bores were also not in use. Because of unavailability of continuous electricity farmers have no choice except to take only one crop that too in rainy season. For irrigation they were dependent on diesel pumps for which they had to make lot of efforts to buy and bring diesel from distant places.
Under these Lift Irrigation Schemes two Solar Surface pumps one in each village are installed at common water source ie stop dams on perennial rivers. Committees of Farmers are formed for daily operation and maintenance of the pumps, which also controls scheduling and distribution of water among farmers. Farmers also contributed land for installation of Solar Pumps and construction of overhead tanks of 5 KL in each village.
The outcome of these projects so far is as under:
• A total of about 30 Acres of farm land is being irrigated under this project.
• A total of about 2 Lac. liters of water is given for irrigation per day in each village.
• About 12 Nos. of families were benefited with this project, which are now growing three crops like mustard, Paddy, Maize, Potato and other Vegetables etc
• The economy of these farmers is increased substantially as they don’t have to pay for diesel for irrigation after installation of the Solar Pumps.
• Training was given to farmers to handle troubleshooting related to pump sets.
The basic outlay of providing water supply to the farms is done by constructing a RCC tank, nearby to the solar pump which serves a total of 108 acres of farm land annually. A total of 16 panels (300 Watt) were installed, which is sufficient to run a 5 HP solar pump set.
BENEFITS AND IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
The impact of these kinds of projects on the villagers is immense. Earlier Mono-cropping was the usual practice but with the advent of this community based lift irrigation project, the farmers have started cultivating more crops annually. Since the topography and little options of irrigation facilities available to the farmers makes demand for these kinds of projects. This project has proved to be a boon for the poor farmers since enhances their productivity at a minimum cost and serves as a cleaner and greener option of irrigation.
Subsistence farming is a past and forgotten word for the farmers. This has really helped them to improve their standard of living.