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“NABARD launches Water Conservation Campaign”

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development launched a major Water Campaign on 22nd March 2017, the day known as World Water Day.

Under the campaign during the current year, covering around 1,00,000 villages in the country in vulnerable/ water stressed areas and more specifically where the ground water is over exploited across the country. Last year also a similar campaign was undertaken under which 40,000 villages in the country were covered. The campaign received encouraging response at the field level. Since NABARD has been implementing large number of watershed development projects in various states, the important learnings and successfully demonstrated local technologies for efficient conservation and management of water resources and promotion of climate resilient agriculture through community involvement, will be one of the key inputs to sensitize the rural community during the campaign.  

The campaign would essentially focus on creating awareness among the rural community about the methods of water conservation, preservation and its efficient utilization at various levels using the modern technologies like micro irrigation (more crop per drop), traditional water management practices, adopting improved package of agronomic practices, etc. As a part of the campaign, area specific contents covering different water management practices applicable to local conditions for various agro climatic regions, with emphasis on community participation are being developed.

In an innovative move, NABARD proposes to identify Village Volunteers (Jal Doots) for a localized and more effective approach. These volunteers will increase awareness about various methods of rain water harvesting, efficient water use, recharging groundwater and integrated farming systems besides facilitating creation of water conservation structures & adoption of water efficient practices/ technologies through convergence with the ongoing schemes of the Govt./ banks. Involvement of bank branches, Govt. departments, extension agencies and other stakeholders during the campaign process is expected to give impetus to this initiative. Adequate number of Master Trainers in each State will be identified and professionally trained who will be deployed to run the campaign at district/ village level during April to July 2017.

In the State of Odisha the formal launching of the campaign was done on 22nd March 2017 by Dr. K C Panigrahi, Chief General Manager, NABARD in a function which was attended by Dr. S K Ambast, Director, Indian Institute of Water management, Bhubaneswar andrepresentatives of the State Govt., State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), Partner NGOs, Agricultural Universities, Water Experts and Farmers’ Club Volunteers.

On this occasion Dr. K.C.Panigrahi, CGM, NABARD, Odisha Regional Office, Bhubaneswar outlined the broader strategy for Water campaign in the State of Odisha. He indicated that based on vulnerability assessment report of Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) i.e. Rain fed Area Priority Index (RAPI), 10 most vulnerable/ rainfed/ water scarcity districts of Odisha namely - Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Kandhmal, Bolangir, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nabarangpur,  Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar have been identified for the intensive campaign which will cover 5500 villages in the State. For the purpose 01 master trainer and 40 local volunteers (Jal Dhoots) will be identified and trained for the campaign in each 10 districts.

Dr. Panigrahi hoped that the campaign will result in Knowledge dissemination, Saving in water due to adoption of water saving technologies, enhanced credit and flow of private investments in creation of water sources and its efficient utilization and Promoting enhanced farmer’s income/ livelihood security. 
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