Traditional Irrigation Systems on Agricultural Outcome
Thematic Area: Agriculture & Risk Management
Project Guides: Dr. B. Soundarajan, Dr. Malini Frey, and Mr. Renjith Mohan
Amrita : Manoj Guleria and Rajesh Thanraj, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Aneena John Panicker and Rayappa Raja S.R, Department of Civil Engineering
Village: Dewgain, Jharkhand
Project Duration: One semester (project part of Live-in-Labs® 5th semester course)
Identified Challenge & Aim:
Located 25 kms from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, Dewgain lies on a hilly terrain with lushly green forest land. Out of the 120 families in the village, about 90% of them are dependent on agriculture for a living. However, water scarcity during the summer months and soil infertility are two of the major reasons for the decline in agricultural produce, causing farmers to spiral into debt and, sometimes, commit suicide. Although successive governments have announced subsidies and aid packages to mitigate the issue, a more enduring solution is required.
The team lived with the villagers for a period of six days in their own naturalistic setting to get a better idea of the general challenges they face regarding current farming practices. Individual interviews were conducted across the 3 different communities within Dewgain. Demographic data, occupational activities, cultivation practices, crops cultivated, seasonal cropping patterns, and crop yield, were studied. Field surveys, village mapping, and focus group discussion with farmers further helped the team to better understand ground realities in the village.
After several group discussions with project guides and farmers, the team proposed a design for a low-cost automated drip irrigation system, along with sufficient awareness on water conservation techniques. Drip irrigation will increase yield and drastically reduce water wastage, thereby generating sufficient income for farmers and their families.