Khandabandh village in Jashipur Block of Mayurbhanj District suffered from intense top soil erosion that hindered productive agriculture. The village practiced rain fed irrigation and received an average of 1600.6mm rain annually. The kharif crops got destroyed due to the heavy monsoons because of high runoff and poor water holding capacity of the soil. The village therefore had large tracts of waste and uncultivable land. Possibilities of second cropping were minimal because of the absence of irrigation facilities. The ICRG programme chose this village as a demonstration site for climate resilient works based on resource mapping and field visits.
Although top soil erosion is high and water holding capacity of the soil poor, the texture and quality of the soil was found to be good. The ICRG project found that there was scope for improving the soil moisture content and increasing its water holding capacity. These interventions presented possibilities of bringing the uncultivated waste lands under crop cover. The project also saw the possibilities of constructing small water harvesting structures on the waste lands to recharge ground water and improve irrigation facilities in the long run.
The ICRG project proposed five interlined interventions that would improve the climate resilience of the site. These interventions are as follows:
- Land development such as 30×40 model; field bunds and land levelling on approximately 18 hectares
- Introduction of kharif crops like arhar, paddy, etc. on the barren lands
- Construction of 3 new farm ponds under MGNREGS
- Construction of 2 dug wells for irrigation under MGNREGS
- Construction of compost pits for 31 households to improve soil health
The implementation status is as follows:
- 30×40 model; field bunds and land levelling on approximately 18 hectares and introduction of kharif crops like arhar, paddy, etc. on the barren patch has been completed.
- The remaining proposed interventions are yet to begin implementation although funding under MGNREGS has been approved.
- 26 households in the village have taken up different types of livelihood activities at the site
- The 30 X 40 model land development intervention helped to bring 1.5 acres under paddy cultivation
- Arhar plantations were done on the field bunds of 8 different plots covering 2.10 acres
- Pumpkin cultivation is being done on 3.2 acres in the fields treated by the field bunds
- Additional 5 acres of land downstream has been brought under paddy cultivation because of the 30 x 40 model
- Stagnated water bodies identified in the treated area help in soil moisture retention