Raichur and Koppal districts of Karnataka were brought under the Tungabhadra river canal command area from a previously rainfed system of irrigation. Access to water through the canals led to a replacement of rainfed crops with paddy. Famers in the canal’s upper reaches used excessive water leading to waterlogging and pest infestations. They used pesticides excessively to tackle these pest infestations. Meanwhile, Farmers in the middle and tail-end reaches of the canal struggled to access water.
Our partnership with SAMUHA aims to drive sustainable and responsible water use in paddy cultivation in canal irrigated areas. The programme demonstrates to farmers that innovative practices that require less water and inputs do improve crop yields. These demonstrations are done through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) anchored by progressive farmers from the programme villages. Field Schools promote non-pesticide management practices for paddy farmers as well. Over time, the field schools will transition to a model where farmers would pay extension service fee to avail of these services.
This programme covers 82 villages across in Raichur and Koppal district of Karnataka. An estimated 4,421 farmers have benefited through the adoption of practices on 9,500 hectares of land.