Need Help- Sell or Keep the land


I have this farmland near keesara gutta area of about 3 acres. The problem is there is very little to NO water in the farm. The borewell i have pumps very little water. Yesterday when i tried, it stopped pumping water after 2mins. And i have no other source of water now. Was planning to go for a pond and store water. But how can i store water when my borewell is giving such a low yield.

My caretaker says, wait for a year and see, if there are better rains next year, it might be good. Need advise from the members of the forum, should i hold on to it or sell it.

I was planning to plantation this year and have a farm house built. But with the problem of water, i’m unable to implement anything.

PLEASE, anyone who had gone through this kind a situation please help. I really DON’T want to sell the farm. But Water issue is really discouraging.


Dear Sri Rakesh, This became a general problem in arid and semi arid zones.

Option 1: to go for rainfed crops Option : to go for certain crops like Custard Apple, Aloeveera Ber , etc. Option 3 : to go for Greenhouse/Polyhouse crops.

If investment is not a problem, you can go for GH/PH crops, with a reservoir of 7guntas for 1 acre gh?ph farming of vegetables like Colour capsicum, english cucumber etc.

If finance have limits, you better go for option 2 .

Not have considerable finance, the only alternative is going for rainfed crops like others.

If you have any other doubts or you want in detail, pl ask us.

wish you all the best, g.p.rao, farmer

Dear G.P.Rao,

Thank you sir for the advise. I tried rain fed crop last year(corn, toor dal), but the yield was very less. I couldn’t even recover my investment. As i employ labor for everything, that ate up all my earnings.

option 2 or 3: My problem is even if i pump water from borewell, its not much water that i can store in the pond. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve or increase water level in the borewell.

Dear Sri Rakesh, We can not raise the water level in a stopped borewell. I think it can be ruled out at the moment. It may be recharged, only if very good continuous rains prevails in next one or two rainy seasons. It totally depend on nature and our luck.

You have a practical experience result, that we can not compete with local farmers, as their day to day expenditure is very less. I only suggested you as one option.

If you plant custard apple, Aloe veera, Ber, you have to make alternate arrangement to grow the plants initially and upto 1st summer. After establishment of the plant, say after 1st summer it can survive with rain water only.It can be good even with low rains ( arid zone crop ).

In 3 rd option, I think a sum of 30,00,000 ltrs of rain water can be collected from one acre polyhouse, in hyderabad area (around 750 mm rain fall min ), and this water can be used for your entire crop for a year in polyhouse.It is expensive but good and profitable,if done well.

I hope you can choose one option, which suits you.

If you go for poly house, you can build a reservoir, and collected water from 1 acre polyhouse is sufficient per one year crop in PH.

best wishes to you sir, g.p.rao, farmer

My personal opinion
never sell an inch of land
even if you dont do any cultivation

Israel recieves very less rainfall and israel land is NOT FERTILE
but look at their agriculture
they top in almost everything in yield wise

a day may come when india adopts israeli technology

you can try for rain water harvesting
you have 3 acres of land
dig a pond in 3-4 guntas in dependent position(where water flows maximum)
channelise water, first 1-2 years water will not hold because of pores
collecting water in plastic film pond is not feasible if you are not using water filters(lot of mud and silt will get collected and will damage plastic layers
if your farmhouse is quite large you can have a clean water

My personal experiment
location hassan(recieves average to good rainfall-2014 rainfall was subnormal)
i had constructed a tank of capacity 44000 litrs 17 feets lenght 15 wide 7 feet depth
tank was built with cement bricks and concrete floor so no leakage(total expenditure was 40000)
in 2014 just as an experiment i tried to fill tank using rainwater from the small shed i have

my shed measurements 25feets width 15 feets length
whatever rainwater fell on roof was directed to tank
it took nearly 7 days to fill the tank and there was 3-4 very good rainfalls

yearly we recieve somewhere between 25-30 good rainfalls
so according to my calculations
i can harvest somewhere between 3.5 lac-4 lac litrs of good quality water in an year

even at 50% i will have 1…5-2lacs litres of water
with drip irrigation and effective water management(like mulching and irrigation at night to prevent water evoporation) that is suffcient to maintain2 acres of fruit crops
though only half of above is practically tested ,remaining half is theoretically feasible
kindly analyse my observations and slap me with doubts /arguements both constructive and destructive
As this water issue will be burning issue in near future with back to back monsoon failures and depleting underground water
thank you for your paitence

Allocate 10% of your farm to have a pond and collect rain water in it. Go for a percolation pit near the borewell as well.

Decide on the crops and their water requirement. This should help you decide on the pond size. This is the lasting solution for your problem.

"My caretaker says, wait for a year and see, if there are better rains next year, it might be good. " — Forget it, this is not going to happen by itself

Assign 10% of your land for water harvesting around your borewell, be patient … My guess is in 5 years you will never face a water issue for the rest of your life . So long as you as your CONSUMPTION is limited to the amount of rainfall on your farm. Remember bores are a source of water to safeguard your crop against variations in rainfall. If you cultivate depending on bore as a water SOURCE rather than a water BUFFER you are DOOMED. Rainfall if your ONLY SOURCE of water.

If you are not prepared to do the above, do NOTHING on your land, hold on as long as you like and sell when you NEED to.

Here is a story of a farmer in Kolar district of Karnataka where rainfall is very less. From: … 998847.cms

Ashok Kumar
Recycles PET bottles into tools of high yield

For lecturer-turned-farmer Ashok Kumar RS, plastic water bottles are a vital link in his irrigation system. With this system, he gets excellent yield in a place with scanty rainfall.

The 47-year old uses just half a litre of water for each plant every week at his 80 acre farm in Rampura village, Kolar district. He grows mango, sapota and ragi.

Kumar said, “In my village, it is hard to find water even at 1,700 feet below the ground. But I don’t water from any bore well. My water source is a pond I’ve constructed at my farm. The pond not only collects rainwater but also has an underground pit that is used as a fishery and to harvest rainwater. I regularly collect 1 litre and 0.5 litre water bottles, which are considered trash, and saw away the base of the bottles. These bottles are inserted into the soil near the root zone of plants up to two years old. Twice a week water is poured into the bottle but 500 ml of water is used in all. After few days, there is a huge growth in roots. This helps in fixing nitrogen in the soil. The vegetative portion of pulse crops prevent evaporation of soil moisture and also facilitate better utilization of water. This ensures healthy crop growth.”

He claims the system requires very little investment and is suitable for growing horticulture crops, especially the newly planted fruit crops, in dry land. By adopting this bottle technology, he ​saves water, time, labour and money.

You may like to replicate his success. Have to be a full time passionate farmer. Might be difficult to do with a caretaker, usually caretakers do not care much like an owner.

Other option I would look at is if current land gets good price, sell it and immediately buy land in another good place that you find suitable.

Dear All,
Thank you for providing those valuable inputs, I really needed to hear those. Some of the things you guys advised where already going on in my mind, but wasn’t sure if I could implement them. But now I’m more confident and would definitely implement some of the ideas.
I will definitely implement what you said, earlier I was thinking of a pond. But now, I think I will build a tank and divert rain water into it. I know I will see the results of these efforts only after year or so, but I’m willing to wait. Thank you for providing your experience. It just confirmed me that I was thinking in right direction.
@ g.p.rao
Sir, as you said, I saw a gh which is near to my farm where I saw rain water getting diverted into a tank. May not be now, but I was planning to have gh too, and as per khannae’s example I will have my gh design to divert water into the tank I’m gonna build.
Sir, can you direct me to more info on percolation pit. I was planning to have a pit dug near the borewell and do rain water harvesting kinda setup as we do in homes. Please let me know if that is what u meant too.
I saw a farm where they’re doing something similar to what u said. Instead of bottles they’re using pots and the pots are filled by a drip system. Actually CEEDS Hyderabad was doing some experimentation of this system in this farm. Also as you said, I can’t rely on my care taker for this and unfortunately I’m not fulltime yet into farming . I have to come up with a work around for this situation. But definitely I will try to use this method.

So this is how I want to plan the whole thing. PLEASE advise/comment if the sequence is right

  1. Get the tank constructed first
  2. have a water harvesting pit around the bore well
  3. have swales around the farm to recharge ground water as well as store additional water from the flow off (please advise, if this is ok)
  4. divert water from bore well into the tank
  5. have a pump set installed for the tank
  6. create a plan to divert water from tank into the orchard after plantation
  7. go for a gh (this is probably next year, need some capital and time to setup the whole thing)
    Will definitely keep the group updated about my progress and would share pics.

If I was in your place, I would have done the below.

  1. There is something called as borewell recharge, which will cost you around 30k.
  2. Dig a trench from all 4 sides and connect it to the borewell recharge pit. Few days of good rain restore the water level in your borewell.
  3. Plant few trees like, Gliciridiya, Moringa and Neem tress around the boundary.
  4. Use the above 3 trees for heavy mulching.
  5. Use as much as mulch as possible, this will improve your soil fertility and you will need less water.
  6. Use deep root irrigation method ( PVC pipe with holes )
  7. Buy 20 to 25 thousand liters of underground syntex plastic water storage tank.
  8. Buy polythene sheet which can cover at least 1 acre, raise it to 1 feet height, make a hole in middle and connect PVC pipe and connect it to underground tank. Every drop of rain water on that 1 acre will be directly saved to the underground tank.


Do not sell the land. Even if you do not plan to cultivate it due to whatever constraints.

My home town is in Marathwada so I can relate to your situation in Telangana. Cultivation of wrong crops (Sugarcane) have literally killed the ground water table in Marathwada region.

You can do high tech farming as in Israel. But it is going to be capital intensive (water treatment plant, temperature controlled green house, etc.). With poor infrastructure it could be a challenge. Why not use permaculture to build ecology in which you can slowly start growing the food. The process will be slow but sustainable. The inputs are very low. Have a look at this video to see what wonders permaculture can do in a desert which receives hardly 300 mm of rain annually. ( … can-desert).

Good luck. Stay put.


Drought-tolerant crops:

Pearl millet
Chickpea and pigeonpea
Finger millet

The following are vegetables, trees, vines and herbs you might want to consider as insurance against drought conditions and which will ensure you will still obtain some sort of crop.

Vegetables: amaranth, garlic, onions, purslane, spinach, sweet potatoes, asparagus, black eyed beans (or cow
peas), chickpeas, peanuts, leeks, melons, okra, pumpkins, tomatoes, parsnips, carrots and rhubarb.

Fruits: apricots, date plams, avocado, carob, mulberries, figs, grapes, peaches, pomegranates, olives, goji berries and prickly pear

Several melon varieties are recommended for hot, dry summers: Missouri Gold; Top Mark; Sweet Passion; Kansas; Edisto 47; Crimson Sweet watermelon; and Strawberry watermelon. Those are all heat- and drought-tolerant varieties suggested by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Besides all those melons and beans, he included okra (Gold Coast, Stewart Zeebest, Beck’s Big Buck); eggplant (Listada de Gandia, Black Beauty, Ping Tung Long); peppers (Carolina Wonder, Charleston Belle, Aji Dulce); cucumbers (Little Leaf H-19, Ashley, Suyo Long); squash (Moschata, Tromboncino, Waltham Butternut); and pumpkin (Seminole).

Medium Water Requirement:


Fertilizer Tree:

Faidherbia albida (syn. Acacia albida Delile)
Sesbania sesban
Tephrosia candida
Gliricidia sepium

Please read these articles:

The potential for organic farming in the drylands of India … l#benefits

Agronomic Measures in Dryland Agriculture: An Overview

Dryland Farming and Watershed Management … GRO102.pdf

Dryland Agriculture … ulture.htm

See my comments inline…

I have couple of ebooks on “{Rainwater_Harvesting_for_Drylands}” These are very popular ebooks. Do PM me, if you need it.

Please email ebooks on “{Rainwater_Harvesting_for_Drylands}” - to

please see these PDF for Rainwater_Harvesting_for_Drylands_and_Beyond ebook

Hi brother
You can grow broccoli which needs very less water and it’s an exotic one too. I think a couple of tankers are sufficient for your 3 acre farm with drip irrigation system. Please revert if I am wrong. Thanks good luck.