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Balco helps water flow into barren lands in Chhattisgarh

Aluminium major's initiative helps farmers to take second crop

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Premsai Kanwar, a small farmer in Dondro village of Korba district, had never dreamt of taking a second crop in his field. Lack of irrigation facility literally made his land barren after taking the kharif paddy crop.

Kanwar was not the only farmer in Dondro or neighbouring villages facing the problem. The farmers had to satisfy with a single crop depending on the monsoon. After harvesting paddy crop, the land becomes dry and the farmers were left with no option than to sit idle.

The aluminium major, Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) Limited took the initiative under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme as the village came under its project area. The project was named “Jalgram” (water village). The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) designed the plan to bring revolution in the village.

“Balco built three check dams with an investment of Rs 8 lakh to store some 1925 cubic meter of water,” Ashish Ranjan, company’s associate general manager (CSR), said. Once the water storage was made, the company along with NABARD and horticulture department of Chhattisgarh government convinced the farmers to take the second crop.

A series of meeting and workshop were organised to propel the farmers to go for second crop. “Finally, 27 farmers agreed,” Ranjan said, adding that they were provided high quality of seeds to take wheat, pulses and vegetable. The sprinkle irrigation facility was provided to the farmers.

The farmers worked hard and converted the land that remained barren in this season till last year into green field. “After harvesting Rabi crop, assessment would be made regarding the success of the project and its viability,” Ranjan said. Later, more farmers would be included in the fold, he added.

First Published: Mon, March 10 2014. 16:40 IST