Article How farmers are coping with water scarcity? Part 2 (Part 3 )

Discussion in 'Discussion Topics' started by editorialteam, May 24, 2017.

  1. editorialteam

    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member


    Mr. Seed Snehal (Snehal Trivedi)

    Recommends permaculture to cope with water scarcity and improve soil fertility

    “Water in the environment and inside the ground retains in the farm when there is diverse flora and fauna staying within the farm premises. Multiple living creatures can be attracted in the farm through a food forest using permaculture practices. In addition, permaculture practice ensures to use every drop of water in most efficient way. There are different techniques that prevents the flow of water from the farm thereby helps largely in improving the groundwater level,” says Mr. Seed Snehal as he insists to be called as (his original name is Mr. Snehal Trivedi).
    Seed Snehal.jpg
    Mr. Seed Snehal (Snehal Trivedi)

    Water conservation techniques must be implemented based on the farm typography and in a systematic way, “So that it lasts forever. Plantation must be done in a way to conserve the soil and water within the farm. The crops should be decided taking into the deep consideration the soil and climate. Also the water should be conserved using different techniques,” he asserts.

    [a] Deep roots of trees: In the food forest, once the sapling/seed is transplanted it lives for entire life. Therefore, ideally the tree saplings should be planted in the month of December- January. As a result, the plant learns to fulfill its’ water requirement from its roots and is able to survive the tough times like dry summer.

    Swales: It helps in holding the water that later gradually seeps inside the ground. The swales are made like ditches. The bottom of swales is flat bottom that collects rain water or the excess water available in the farm. Swales prevent water from running down the hill often dragging soil with it, instead hydrates the soil and plant quite a lot.

    [c] Use of Stones: Placing stones around the trees retains the water as well as generates microclimatic conditions that assist in healthy growth of the trees. Similar to the size of the tree, stones are stacked around the tree to trap the heat and moisture to be given back to the plant/tree as needed. The trapped moisture gives cooling effect to the plant as well as augments the condensation process. The condense water is extremely beneficial for the soil and plant. Preferably the stones used in the process must be unmortared.

    [d] Porous Clay Pots: During the tough times of water scarcity, in the farm just near to the fruits and forest trees clay pots are buried till its mouth. Everyday little water is poured in the pot, the water slowly percolates near the tree roots and keep the entire plant hydrated.

    Other than these four techniques rainwater harvesting and mulching are boon for the farmers to manage the problem of water scarcity.

    Mr. Snehal has a demonstration farm at a small village near Auroville in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu. Qualified graphic designer, Mr. Snehal returned back to India in 2007 leaving a secured job in United Kingdom to live his life in harmony with the nature. The land when bought in 2007 was barren for 300 years plus and didn’t had any top soil. All that the land had was pebbles, rocks and clay. Using permaculture method of plantation Mr. Snehal revived the farmland and transformed into a food forest that aims to provide food and shelter for all living souls be it human, animals or micro organisms. The farm is named as Sapney Farms. It has rich array of more than 150 plants comprising of medicinal, herbs, fruits and vegetables. “The food forest balances the ecosystem therefore the basic necessities of life that are water, food and shelter are being well taken care off. The forest is developed and maintained in alliance with the nature hence the existing problems are solved slowly and new problems do not arise,” he adds.

    When asked about bringing life back on 300+ years barren land by growing 150 different types of plants, Mr. Snehal shares, “Initially to begin with we used lot of native cow based compost. Later to which we started getting sufficient organic matter on the farm itself and then it became a continuous process. Being all natural farming inputs the water required for irrigation is less and nutrients are plenty.”

    In future Mr. Snehal wants to create a library of living medicinal plants and trees. “Many vital forest varieties are extinct not but to safeguard what we have with us we want to protect it in our library. We are collecting different kind of nuts and berries to develop into sapling and when grown as tree it will be home for many creatures. We want to be one stop for the distinctive plant varieties that plays a vital role in life regeneration. We shall also sell these plants in a complete package to like-minded farmers so that 10 years after the sale they would have thriving forest.”

    He concludes saying, “Farming is the most satisfying profession but first generation farmers must be prepared not to expect any commercial gain from the farm for minimum first three years. Also start farming only when sure of 100% commitment for brining life on the farm without any returns same as Mother brings up her child. Lastly work to create a system that is feasible to be operational forever on its own!”

    Contact details:
    Mr. Seed Snehal (Snehal Trivedi)
    Sapney Farms
    Bhartipuram, Kottakarai, Irumbai Post, Villupuram, Auroville, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu.
    Phone: 09489692272

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