District Udhampur bags National award for Jeevika project at Water Innovation Summit 2020

Udhampur: District Udhampur has bagged National award at Water innovation Summit 2020 for implementation of Jeevika initiative- A targeted livelihood plan for small and marginal farmers.
The Jeevika initiative conceptualized by District Development Commissioner, Dr. Piyush Singla envisages a multipronged strategy for enhancing water usage efficiency and aiming at generating sustainable livelihood for farmers in the District . This concept has been widely accepted and appreciated by the Government of India and the J&K Government.
The Jeevika project envisages to increase and provide assured irrigation for Agriculture land , conservation of water to enhance the livelihood of small and marginal farmers through development of sustainable ecosystem in the district.
The award was virtually presented by UP Singh Secretary Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
The DDC informed that District Udhampur is predominantly agrarian where 80% population is rural with agriculture as their main source for livelihood, Low farmer income from orthodox farming (Approx. Rs. 5000/year/kanal), 97 % of the farming families are small and marginal.(Total 65,200 land holdings with average holding size is 0.97 Ha)Only about 6 % of the cultivated area is under assured irrigation but untapped perennial water resources viz. natural springs /Bowlies /Nallahs.
The kuls or nullahs, as they are locally called, have free flowing water which was never put to some use. Under the project the perennial water bodies discharge is stored in a pond. These ponds are unique water harvesting structures and the water is supplied to the farmers’ fields through a drip irrigation system.
Dr. Singla said that project Jeevika is essentially from the perspective of a farmer and revolves around increasing farmers’ income by using water conservation. The project Jeevika offers holistic integration of factors of production. The Project aims at to harness the untapped perennial water sources to increase the assured irrigation potential through innovative water harvesting structures (Plastic Pond); To promote efficient water use for irrigation by means of micro irrigation-Drip method and Mulching, Healthy soil by promoting Vermi-Compost, Enhancing off season vegetable production- Poly Houses.
While explaining the significance of the project, the DDC said that it was formulated after a joint survey was conducted by Agriculture and Rural Development Department to study the feasibility, requirements, and willingness of the farmer to participate and to realize the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
It is pertinent to mention here that the project aims to develop at least 250 clusters across Udhampur district, each of which will have 7-8 farmers, big water harvesting pond, one perennial source being tapped, different fields with multiple drip irrigation systems, poly houses and vermi compost units. So far, 40 such clusters have been completed.

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