Trickle-down effect in Kolar

Trickle-down effect in Kolar

A drop saved : A percolation pit in the middle of mulberry and papaya crops in  the Nenamanahalli field, Kolar taluk.

Yet, a farmer in the taluk has for the first time in the history of the district dug up percolation pits, betting his fortune on the ever-whimsical monsoon.

N R Chandrashekhar of Nenamanahalli hopes that not a single raindrop will be wasted and has dug up fifty percolation pits that are each three-feet wide, three-feet high and three-feet deep to feed the mixed crops mulberry and papaya in his one acre, six gunta land. The entire plot stands out with its farm ponds, percolation pits and bunds.

Chandrashekhar had spent Rs 25,000 to construct a farm pond that is 70-feet high, 50-feet wide and 12-feet deep.  But the water stored in the pond is not sufficient, forcing the farmer to look up for other means - in this case, the percolation pits. The pits, dug without outside help have enough water stored along with soil that has eroded. With weeds rotting by the side, the farmer is happy to get the additional superior quality manure, free of cost.

Explaining the rationale behind his decision to Deccan Herald, Chandrashekhar remarked, “Each pit can store at least 800-900 litres of water; 50 such pits enable me to store 45,000 litres. As a result, the groundwater level will also improve and soil erosion can be prevented. Even if erosion does occur, the soil gets collected in the pits and it’s a win-win situation for me.”

Chandrashekhar enumerated the advantages of the pits: “There is no wastage of water or damage to crops. Not a single drop of rainwater will leave the land. The crops won’t be affected even if it doesn’t rain for a month, with the percolated water underground taking care of the crops. I have also sown horsegram whose green canopy will bring down the heat some. As its green leaves turn into manure, the crops will get some proteins as well,” he quipped.

“Earlier, I had grown ragi and when it rained during the monsoon, I sowed jute. These have been mulched and so, around six to eight tonnes of leafy manure is mixed in the soil. Moreover, the moisture and fertility of the soil has also increased. I am confident the fertility will only increase, thanks to the horsegram I have sown,” feels this farmer.

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