Adani Foundation Introduces Sustainable Irrigation Techniques to Tribal Farmers at ACC Chaibasa Site

Adani Foundation Introduces Sustainable Irrigation Techniques to Tribal Farmers at ACC Chaibasa SiteJharkhand, 06 May 2024: ACC, the cement and building material company of the diversified Adani Portfolio, along with Adani Foundation has infused modern irrigation techniques to uplift the socio-economic landscape of a traditional farming community near the ACC Chaibasa site. Through CSR efforts, the predominantly tribal community has been introduced to solar-powered lift irrigation, resulting in significant positive impacts on the revenue, scale, variety, and continuity of agricultural yield through the year. This success has even encouraged the youth and community members here for higher participation in the activity, reducing their need to migrate.

For 80% of farmers of West Singhbhum district, Jharkhand, agriculture has been the primary source of livelihood. However, being an area surrounded by dense forest cover, hilly terrain, and rivers, it had always been a challenging activity. During their assessment, the Adani Foundation team identified undulating terrain, rain-fed agriculture, a lack of technical knowledge, limited market access, and huge poverty as some of the primary challenges for the farmers here, of whom 67% (2001 Census) belong to indigenous tribes.

Owing to these concerns, the farmers had been unable to make ample and stable income, reeling from effects of inconsistent crop cycles, as well as declining interest of the younger generation in agriculture, resulting in high migration to earn livelihoods after the monsoon cultivation. Hence, CSR efforts have been focused on ensuring livelihood sustainability with the support of sustainable irrigation options.

With a vision of supporting year-round irrigation, the CSR team narrowed down on solar-powered lift irrigation units, which facilitate stable supply of water to wider patches of farmland, irrespective of terrain. A total of 169 farmers from six different kisan samitis (farmer groups) across three villages – Dokatta, Kondowa, and Rajanka – of the district have benefitted from the support provided by six lift irrigation units. One of these units (80 HP) covers 95 acres, while five others (5HP) have the capacity to support irrigation across 10 to 18 acres each, covering 169 acres of farmland in all.

Benefitting from a stable water supply, this initiative has not only helped farmers cultivate Kharif, Rabi, and even Jayad crops through the year, but the diversion from traditional to cash crops has also resulted in significantly higher yield, an average of Rs 30,000 per acre increase over earlier. This translates to generation of additional daily income equivalent to 10 human days per acre.

Take for example, Prakash Honhaga, a beneficiary from Dokatta village. His 1.5-acre farmland has yielded an additional income of Rs. 40,000, thanks to Kharif and Rabi crops made possible by lift irrigation. Additionally, this initiative has reduced malnutrition through regular availability of vegetables and nutritious food for the community.

Further advantages include initiation of agriculture-allied activities such as animal husbandry and food processing in the area. A new fruit tree plantation has also been envisioned in the command area as an added advantage of the lift irrigation system.

And, in a complete turnaround, all these positive impacts have encouraged the youth to take a keener interest in agriculture, and helped the community cut down the need for outward migration. Prompted by this success, the Foundation plans to augment the scheme by adding a new 80 HP lift irrigation unit which will further benefit an additional 100 farmers covering 100 acres more of farmland in this financial year. These irrigation solutions by Adani Foundation at villages near the ACC Chaibasa site underscore their commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development, creating positive impacts, and fostering inclusive growth in West Singhbhum district.

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