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Dig pits to wash out water woes

- Farmers upbeat as Doba, a new technology, will enable rainwater harvesting ARTI SAHULIYAR
Ranchi, June 29: The rain god is smiling and so are the farmers.
They have to worry less about irrigation now as monsoon has finally hit the state. And using a new technology this time round to store rainwater, farmers can look forward to better summers ahead.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER), Ranchi, is testing a low cost technology — Doba — to start rainwater harvesting here. This technology was implemented successfully in Maharashtra.
The technology aims to help farmers across the state, particularly in drought-prone regions like Palamau and Garhwa.
On an average, the state receives 1,300-1,400mm of rainfall every year. Under Doba, excess rainwater will be stored in the soil. Water pits, about three meters long, one-and-half meters wide and one meter deep, will be dug up and covered with a polythene lining. “It will be able to store 4.5 cubic meters of water and after rainfall it can be covered to prevent evaporation. During the water crisis, farmers can used conserved water for six months to plant 10 trees,” explained fruit scientist (ICAR-RCER), Bikash Das.
The estimated cost to dig one pit is around Rs 850. This year the centre has decided to demonstrate this technology to farmers in Ranchi. “Work had begun in Bero and Lapung blocks of Ranchi district before the rainfall started,” Das said.
Explaining the benefits of using a polythene cover inside the pit, Das said, it would prevent seepage and also avoid soil erosion.
“The state receives much more rainfall than Maharashtra, which gets only 1,000mm annually on an average. But after adopting the Doba technology, farmers will be utilising the stored water for irrigation under improved water management techniques,” he said.

This low cost technology was also a big success in Purulia district of Bengal as well.
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