Water is one of the most important receivers in the region for profitable crop factors in agriculture for production. Unavailability of adequate successful crop production. The amount of water during the dry season West coast region of India including Goa becomes a serious problem to the farmers with undulating terrain receives abundant for successful farming. This problem can rainfall up to 3000-3200 mm in a year but the be minimized by rainwater harvesting distribution of it is limited only to South West and its judicious use in agriculture.
Direct monsoon period ie from June to September. rainfall collection through water catch As such, practically there is no moisture pits Jalkunds) can be highly beneficial to in soils of the region for more than eight the farmers for providing irrigation to the months of the year. Thus, there is a greater crop under moisture scarcity conditions need for storing of this abundant rainfall during the dry season.
Steps involved in the construction of a Jalkund:
- Dugout a pit of desired dimensions as required according to the area which needs be irrigated.
- Remove stones and other material with sharp edges from the bottom and sides of the pond.
- Provide proper smoothening to the inner walls, including the bottom of Jalkund by plastering a mixture of clay soil and cow dung in the ratio of 5:1.
- Spray insecticide (Chlorpyriphos 35 EC@ 2mlflitre of water) on the surface of the inner walls and the bottom of ]alkund.
- Place a 10-15cm thick layer of paddy straw along the sides and bottom of the ]alkund to ensure a smooth surface.
- Dugout a trench of size 30 cm width and 30 cm depth along the sides leaving a space of30 cm from the edge of the ]alkund.
- Line the sides and bottom of ]alkund with 250 GSM thickness Silpaulin poly film.
- Fix Silpaulin poly film in the trench dugout around the ]alkund and cover with soil to ensure that the sheet does not get displaced.
- Make a drainage channel preferably of 30cm width and 30cm depth across the slope on the upper side of the Jalkund to ensure that muddy water will not enter in a similarly make an outlet channel on the lower side of the Jalkund for safer drainage of excess water.
- Pour about 100 ml of Neem oil into the Jalkund every year after the end of the rainy season to avoid
the evaporation losses and to keep the animals away through the smell of oil. As an alternative option for reduction of evaporation, locally available coconut leaves can be used to cover the Jalkund.
- Fencing of 1 to 1.5 m height may also be provided all around the Jalkund to prevent its damage from stray animals.
Benefits of Jalkund:
Rainwater can be stored directly in the Jalkunds during the rainy season which can be utilized to provide protective irrigation to the crops for successful cultivation. Otherwise, it may cause soil erosion and nutrient loss through runoff.
- Stored water can also be utilized for the rearing of Livestock, Piggery, Poultry and Duckery.
- Fish rearing can also be taken in the harvested water.
- Major crops which can be grown through utilizing Jalkund harvested water include:
Vegetable crops: Brinjal, Chilly, Tomato, Radish, Amaranthus, Coriander, Cowpea, etc.
Horticultural crops: Cashew, Coconut, Mango, etc.
Flower crops: Jasmine, etc.
Under Protected cultivation:
Vegetables: Cucumber, Chilly, etc.
Flower: Gladiolus, Lilium, etc.
The major cost involved in Jalkund:
The cost of making a]alkund depends on its size and input rates on the market. The main costs involved in the construction of a ]alkund are digging expenses and cost of silpaulin polifilm sheet. Digging cost depends on site topography, soil type and prevailing labour rates in the region.
The use of insecticide cost is very nominal and fencing can be made by using locally available bamboos or cheap wood of the farm which does not require any extra cost.
Although larger size ]alkunds can be also constructed as per the area need to be irrigated but smaller size ]alkunds require low cost and are easy in maintenance. As such, smaller size ]alkunds are recommended which are more affordable and useful to the small and marginal category of farmers.
- Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa