Farm ponds are small tank or reservoir-like constructions. Its only purpose is to store the surface runoff, generated from the catchment area.
The farm ponds are the water harvesting structures. It solves several purposes of farm needs: the supply of water for irrigation, cattle feed, fish production, etc.
Farm ponds also play a vital role in flood control by constructing them in large numbers in the area. In addition, the farm stores the monsoon water. This water is used for irrigation of crops, and several other purposes, according to the need. Rainfed farming can be done on an optimum scale with more profitability with the help of Farm Ponds.
In the present scenario, water scarcity is a huge problem in front of the world. Water scarcity impacted Farmers too. They are also facing problems in farming like lack of crop production, less income due to uncertainty in the rain and the water cycle. Uncertainty in rainfall distribution observed due to climate change. Hence areas expected with high rainfall are receiving low rainfall and vice versa.
Farmers with rain-fed lands are vulnerable and can cultivate only a single crop in a year, provided that the rainfall is timely and adequate.
As we know draught results in low yields. However, farmers could irrigate their fields twice with proper storage of rainwater. Thus significantly improving agricultural productivity and hence rural income.
Initiatives like the Farm Pond program aim at shifting the focus from traditional cultivation to cash crops and horticulture, as water harvesting structures provide farmers more choices if water is available.
Farmers are not only getting 40-50% higher yield from the major crops but are also growing cash crops such as chilly, papaya, garlic, and also short-duration vegetables, improving food security and nutrition.
Embarkment-type farm ponds are constructed across the stream or watercourse where the land slope is from gentle to steep.
An embankment of the earth dependent on the volume of water to be stored,
Excavated or Dug-out type:
Dug-out type farm ponds constructed on the flat land area by excavating the soil from the ground.
The catchment area and volume of water to be stored decides the size and depth of the farm pond.
It is used for irrigation and fish farming purposes.
Designing a Dug-out type farm pond, you need to check rainfall, land slope, catchment area, runoff, and seepage characteristics. Seepage is an important factor for the design of the pond
- Helps farmers by storing rainwater to provide adequate, reliable, long-term water supply, and hence ending vulnerability and uncertainty of rain-fed farmers
- It is a one-time investment which provides localized water and food security for many years by enhancing crop productivity and climate resilience
- An increase in farm productivity means more crops.
- Increase in land productivity as well the value of agricultural land.
- Apart from water it helps in conserving the natural resources like soil and nutrients.
- The availability of water increases the chances to grow cash crops through irrigation technologies.
- Increase in the income of farmers-Water harvesting allows timely sowing and irrigation of multiple crops, helping farmers to maximize their yield and correspondingly increase his/her income by 2 to 3 times minimum and even in many cases up to 5 times.
- Generates employment opportunities for on-farm labor during all seasons. Thus it prevents migration and can make the owner of the farm-pond a rural job-creator.
- Farmers can do fish farming in the pond, which will provide them with more opportunities to grow their agriculture business.
- Improve the quality of crop yield.
- Helps in preserving soil erosion
- Farm ponds stores or preserve water coming from rains, whereas Wells derives water from Earth and uses it.
- In the case of Farm ponds, the more you create farm ponds more you save water. But for wells, the more you dig wells more you lose water storage of water.
- Farm ponds increase the water level in the area nearby, whereas wells decrease the water level.