Three farmers dug a farm pond in four days using ordinary tractors at a cost less than Rs 50,000 at Naroda village in the suicide-prone district of Amravati.
This has set an example for other villages. And it has also become a new source of earning for the rural youth who can drive a tractor. The local administration is now coming forward to guide these youth on how to go about the water-conservation project.
Kiran Gite, District Collector of Amravati told The Indian Express, “The young farmers have made a novel innovation to use tractors in place of more sophisticated heavy machines which were proving more expensive in construction of the farm ponds.”
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In less than two months, rural youth have constructed 80 farm ponds in Naroda and its adjoining villages driving the tractors for almost six to eight hours a day.
The state government has announced the farm pond scheme for farmers in the 14 drought-stricken districts a couple of months ago. As per the scheme, any farmer who demands a farm pond, would be provided Rs 50,000 financial aide.
The farm pond is a part of the water conservation project to make farmers self-reliant in the drought-hit districts of Marathwada and Vidarbha.
Naroda villagers’ success story has come as a pleasant surprise to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who tweeted their pictures along with work model.
“We have received an overwhelming response for the farm pond scheme. The number of farmers seeking the farm ponds has crossed 80,000 in less than two months,” said the chief minister. The farmers who seek the farm pond, is expected to provide the land in his own field where the project would be constructed.
Officials from ministry of irrigation and agriculture were expected to provide the technological guidance on where exactly to build the farm pond which required some specifications like slopes and technical aspects.
The conventional machinery recommended was JCB and Poclaine.
According to Gite, “The village farmers realised that when you hire the heavy machines, it is more expensive. So some youths decided to use the tractors which worked to their advantage.”