Water is scarce and water resources are depleting all over the world. Every year we hear tales of terrible drought and human suffering from different parts of the world. In such a situation here is a tale of transformation of 650 acres dry land into “Paradise on Earth” with lush green trees and crops through watershed development.
Watershed development programmes assume greater significance, both for the Government and the farming community. Despite keen interest by all concerned, the progress is very slow mainly due to low investment in water sector, especially, irrigation projects. Some projects are successful where NGOs, through the involvement of local community, implement such projects.
However, the Jain Watershed development Project is an atomistic model, where the co-operation of the neighbouring farmers is not required as a large area is under one ownership. Anyhow, every watershed, large or small, does create enduring value.
The present document is an effort to make a focussed analysis and evaluation of the project that Bhavarlal Jain undertook as early as 1995. After two decades, the fruits of systematic implementation is there for everyone to see.
It is indeed a demonstration of the commitment to transform rain-fed dry wasteland into horticulture, agro-forestry and irrigated agriculture land. And that too, only with the help of integrated rainwater harvesting and watershed measures.
These measures ushered in a miracle. In early 1989, an old dug well was yielding only 200 - 400 litres of water per day in the project area. Later, the well dried up. Now, the various rainwater harvesting and soil conservation engineering structures created and maintained during the first 17 years of the Project, ensure (even in drought years) a minimum draft of average 15 lakh litres per day (1,500 cum/day).
The compete gamut of this research and development is conducted under the banner of “Jain Hi-Tech Agri Institute” (JHAI).
Now, the Watershed Project has become a pilgrimage center that is inspiring over 35,000 farmers and farm related visitors every year from India and abroad.
Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., Bambhori, Jalgaon 425001