ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Importance of Crop Diversification

S Mahendra Dev’s article “Water Management and Resilience in Agriculture” (EPW, 20 February 2016) was very interesting and informative as it dwelt on the water management issue complete with facts and figures. I agree with the author while he writes, “Water use efficiency can be increa­sed significantly in Indian agriculture.”

However, its judicious use is also imperative. From my experience I wish to make some suggestions. First, in the Bankura District of West Bengal (this is a very backward district) under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), a large number of tanks were dug on the agricultural land of marginal and small farmers locally known as hapa. Each hapa is 60×40×12 feet on an average. The farmers as per their choice (participatory approach) select the site on their agricultural land where the hapa is to be excavated absolutely free of cost. The soil on the four sides adjoining it is used to grow seasonal vegetables and the water of the hapa is used for fish-rearing as well as irrigation.

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