On the path to progress

A hamlet without motorable roads and uneven land. A forgotten village in Davangere taluk’s Siddanur, is now seeing some progress. Efforts are being made to convert the dry barren land into a green cover. Borewells in the village are being recharged. Farmers are growing maize, banana, pomegranate and cucumber using sustainable methods of farming. 

Last year, the Central government established the National Institute of Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) in this village, which is about 17 km from the taluk centre. NICRA is a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). 

The project aims to enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate variability through strategic research and technology demonstration. Among the 100 villages chosen for this project are four villages in Karnataka. Three other villages are in Raichur, Tumkur and Kolar districts. 

The project has been implemented through the Taralabalu Krishi Vignana Kendra (KVK) at Siddanur village. As part of the project, the village has a weather station too.

The landscape of the village was such that irrigation was not easily possible. Rain water flowed across the village from the rocky region and ran a waste. 

Today, though, proper channels have been constructed to ensure that all the rain water is fully utilised.

A team of agricultural scientists including T N Devaraj and B O Mallikarjun met the villagers on a regular basis and understood the problems of villagers. They decided to recharge water in all the town’s tanks. Today, almost ten tanks in the village are full. 

Groundwater has been recharged in 3,744 hectares of land. Yield in the areca and banana plantations have improved drastically. Scientists from KVK ensured that the villagers were in charge of overseeing all development work. 

Today, as many as 205 families in Siddanur and nearby are marching towards self-reliance. Landless villagers have been trained to be self-employed. Some of the villagers have taken up dairy farming, while others have been trained in agarbathi making and sheep rearing. Banana growers and vegetable growers have formed associations. 

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