19th November 2014, Jhansi
National Research Centre for Agroforestry (NRCAF) observed Farm Innovators Day and World Toilet Day at Parasai-Sindh watershed in Babina block of Jhansi district today.
Dr. Javed Rizvi, Regional Director, and Dr. Rajendra Choudhary, Senior Liaison & Monitoring Officer, South Asia Programme, ICRAF, New Delhi visited the Parasai-Sindh watershed and interacted with the farmers. They observed the interventions taken up in watershed and discussed the impact of the measures with the accompanying farmers. The ICRAF team was overwhelmed after seeing the surface water in ephemeral drains in about 2.0 km length, large scale adoption of teak based agroforestry (more than 200 acre) on field boundaries and homestead agroforestry in majority of the households The team has interactions with community and realized that virtually there is no impact of deficit rainfall (31% less than long term average rainfall) on agricultural activities. More than 90% area of the watershed is cultivated. Villagers opined that hardly 40% area will be cultivated outside watershed during rabi 2014-15 due to deficit rainfall.
As of now enough water is available in the wells and checkdams in the watershed and more than 90 per cent of crop sowing is completed already. Dr S K Dhyani, Director, NRCAF informed the team that this scenario vindicates that only watershed management through alternate landuse system such as agroforestry is the viable option in the region as far as water availability is concerned and it will also check the migration in search of livelihoods.
The issue of sanitation and cleanliness was also raised and the team advised the villagers about benefits of having plants of guava, aonla, drumstick, tulsi and giloy in the backyard of the household. There was an interaction with the students of middle school and farmers at Chhatpur regarding World Toilet Day and general cleanliness as well as importance of agroforestry in day to day life along with its role in mitigating climate change.
(Source: NRCAF, Jhansi)