Irregular rainfall, coupled with undulated terrain, eroded soil, and fragmented holding are the characteristics of the tribal-dominated district of Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua.
Farmers here face a double whammy of low rainfall and age-old farming techniques. Ramesh Bariya, a farmer from the district, has found a solution to the challenges with the available sustainable alternative.
He got in touch with NAIP (National Agricultural Innovation Sub Project)-KVK scientists in the year 2009-2010 and under their guidance, he started vegetable cultivation in a small patch of land during the winter and rainy season, which was reportedly fit for the kind of land he owned.
He then attempted to grow bitter gourd, sponge gourd in the patch of land and soon set up a small nursery to increase his profit from farming. However, delay in monsoon led to an acute shortage of water and a worried Bariya approached the project scientists again.
The experts suggested him to adopt an irrigation technique with the help of waste glucose water bottles that would serve dual-purpose. He bought used glucose plastic bottles for Rs 20/kg. He cut the upper half of the bottle to create an inlet for water and attached it to the bottom of the other half.
Then, he hung these filled bottles near plants and with the regulator meant for I.V. in the saline bottles, he regulated a steady flow of water, drip by drip. He also asked his kids to refill the bottle each morning on their way to school and that's all was needed to keep them growing.
According to Indiatimes, at the end of the season, he managed to earn a profit of Rs 15,200 from a 0.1-hectare land. This technique helped him to save plants from drought, reuse the glucose plastic bottles which would have taken several years to decompose and prevented wastage of water.
Reportedly, for adopting the irrigation method, Ramesh Bariya was also awarded a certificate of appreciation from the District Administration and Minister of Agriculture of the Madhya Pradesh government.