The Telangana government’s flagship program, Mission Kakatiya, seems to be reaping fruits now! The program is aimed at restoration of minor irrigation sources such as water bodies and tanks so as to help small and marginal farmers. The initiation has increased water retention by de-silting as well as on-farm moisture retention capacity.
As per a recent pilot study by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the moisture retention has gone up to by four to seven days, when local farmers used lifted from water bodies in their fields.
According to study in water bodies in which works are finished showed the improvement available water content due to the addition of tank silt by 50 to 375 tractor loads per hectare. Available water content increased by 0.002 to 0.032 g in the soil.
Around 20% to 40% increase in clay was noticed in the root zone. Also, a decrease in coarse and fine sand was observed. No change was observed in EC, pH as well as organic carbon levels. Moreover, an ‘appreciable change’ was noticed in available Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Potassium besides, moderate Sulphur reduction. According to senior officials, the clay content improvement is likely to lessen the nutrient loss through leaching. This is because of nutrition absorption capability or Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).