In these villages Jain Irrigation worked in active colloboration with an NGO, PRAN with its CEO Mr Anil Varma , and Alicia Herley ( a doctoral candidate from Harvard University, USA) who were working for a number of years with groups of economically weak farmers belonging to Rajapur village struggling for their livelihood. THe NGO was encouraging these farmers to grow rice using the SRI method. Jain Irrigation team installed a solar pump on a borewell in the village and conveyed irrigation water to 6 small plots where the water was stored in elevated water tanks and supplied to the fields through a drip system.
After the installation of drip irrigation and solar pump life has changed for the economically weak scheduled caste farmers. Today, they are appreciating the efforts of our company and many more such farmers looking towards us for further support.
These farmers have very small land holding ( One or two katha). Seeing the situation of the size of the land and maintainance of drip irrigation , we used over head plastic tanks connected with PVC pipes and inline laterals with low discharge. Initially, there was two borewells and farmers were using diesel pump set on hire basis. It was difficult for the poor farmers to pay the rent and diesel cost. Therefore, they were mainly restricted themself to monsoon crops. We installed a 2hp solar pump near their household open area , where it can be protected from theft. We connected the all six tanks with the pump by PVC pipelines. Now every time their tank is full of water and easier for them to irrigate their crop. However , there was good rain last year , and whenever they faced dry period they used the drip system to irrigate their paddy crop.
They were able to take vegetable crops in Rabi and summer season using this solar powered drip systems and realised a good income for the produce.
It was the first time the farmers saw the fantastic results in SRI method cultivated crop when associted with drip and solar in Bihar. Now a lot many farmers are also coming forward for such combination technology.
Mr Anil Varma and Alicia Herley were very much enthused by seeing the unexpected results. They observed that In areas where direct seeded rice using SRI methods is practiced, integrating drip will be very helpful. Moreover, using drip irrigation allows for year - round cultivation of the land in Gaya district, which was not possible without drip as water was not sufficient and water prices using diesel were too high. Overall, drip iirrigation and solar irrigation pump show high potential for improving the wellbeing of the most vulnerable farmers in Gaya, Bihar. PRAN hopes to continue to integrate these technologies into its work with the most vulnerable farmers and hopes to further partner with JAIN Irrigation Systems Ltd.