Last Updated:  30/01/2021

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Project Pitch By: GRAMA


Proposed Project Title

GRAMONNATHI- A Climate Change Adaptation Project


Thematic Area

Ensuring environmental sustainability, ecological balance, wildlife & natural resources conservation

Sub Thematic Area

Natural Resources Conservation

Project Synopsis

Chitradurga district is suffering from acute water shortage because of the low annual rainfall and depleted water tables. Along with these, dry and semi-arid conditions of this region, add to the plight of the farmers, making agriculture difficult and uneconomical. It has influence on other sectors like education also, because of the dependence of the families on the income from agriculture and related practices. It is necessary to introduce the local farmers to scientific agricultural practices to improve the yield from land and restore the water table and natural fertility of the soil. Based on the above analysis they built and proposed a sustainable and replicable farmland redevelopment initiative project ‘GRAMONNATHI’ which aims to redevelop 50 acres of farmland. Its focus areas are soil conservation, water table recharge and improving vegetation cover.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Chitradurga District, Challkere Taluk, Hriyur Taluk

Key Project Partners
NGOs,Gram Panchayat

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable


Beneficiary Type (Primary): General
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Women
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 500 -1000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

Initiatives taken by GRAMA at present:


To help farmers, GRAMA implemented the Natural Resource Management projects with GOK and NABARD support. Under various watershed development programs 33765.31 hectares of land has been treated benefiting 15089 people in the watershed areas Different techniques being used under this initiative to help the farmers. They were benefited by GRAMA’s guidance with field bunds, deep tillage, drip water irrigation, organic manure, vermicompost etc. Bunds serve to retain water and enable more percolation and deep tillage helps in increasing the moisture content and the water holding capacity of the soil. The fields are left for months without sowing and then the soil absorbs lots of water in the rainy season and retains the moisture for a long time. Similarly, other techniques also help in improving productivity. But these projects were run as a pilot project on some of the selected fields because of the paucity of funds, NABARD played a major role in the implementation of these techniques. There are a lot of farmers who are seeking help from the government and institutions like NABARD, and GRAMA is a facilitator. They have made an estimate of the cost of these techniques and devised a model GRAMONNATI to give a structured approach to this initiative.


Based on their secondary research, unstructured interviews and brainstorming sessions with the GRAMA team and other stakeholders, they developed a land re-development initiative - ‘GRAMONATHI’. Key characteristics of this initiative are as follows –


Fifty acres of land was selected as a unit to be redeveloped. This model could be replicated in the same fashion across other landmasses. The activities to be taken up after consultation with all the stakeholders in a 50 acres plot are as follows –


Activities for water table recharge –

  • Field Bunds (FB) - These are boulder and pit like structures constructed on the field periphery.
  • Water Weirs (WW) – These are the structures meant to limit the surface runoff of the water
  • Drainage Line Treatment (BC, RC and LBS) – These are large slab like structures to slow down the surface runoff and induce sedimentation in the field. It is meant to reclaim the land degraded by soil erosion.


Activities for improving vegetation cover -

  • Forest Plantation – These plants (wild plants) are planted on the periphery of the fields which provide shade to the farmers and also, serve as fodder for the cattle.
  • Bund Plantation (Horticulture Plants) – It is meant to strengthen the previously described bund structures. It retains or holds together the soil in that structure.


Soil Health and Productivity Enhancement Activities –

  • Tank Silt Application – It involves extraction of fresh silt from nearby water bodies and its deposition in the fields degraded by excessive irrigation.
  • Deep Tillage – In it the soil is turned and the lower layers of the soil are brought up.
  • Green Manuring and Preparation of Liquid Manure – In it, organic ingredients like cow dung, agricultural waste etc. are promoted to be used as fertilizers by the farmers. It reduces the reliance of the farmers on the artificial fertilizers and improves the natural fertility of the soil.
  • Vermicompost – It is for the farmers having cattle. In it, earthworms are used to process the cow dung in a tank and this processed dung is applied in the field.


Activities ensuring sustainable farming and nutritional security –

  • Integrated Farming System (IFS) – It is a risk mitigating activity in which farmers are provided suggestions to grow different crops in different patches of land such that in case of drought, it’s not a complete loss for all the farmers.
  • Azolla Cultivation – It is a variety of fodder crop which is a rich source of nutrients for the cattle. It is a rich source of nutrients and minerals which can lead to the reduction of deficiency in the cattle
  • Kitchen garden – It is suitable for farmers living close to their fields. In it, farmers are promoted to grow different varieties of vegetables and flowers to support their income.


Based on the suggestions by the GRAMA field volunteers and secondary research, built a plan for the redevelopment of the land using a suitable combination of these initiatives and leveraged the GRAMA reports and surveyed the local fields and farmers to know about their major concerns and associated cost of this modular plan.


Salient Features

  1. Contributing towards climate change adaptation
  2. Improving the soil health through key characteristics
  3. Promoting water conservation


Grameena Abhivruddi Mathu Adhyayana Kendra (GRAMA) was registered under the Indian Trust Act on 12th July 1989. It was founded by D.M. Girijamma Rudraiah and is a Non-Government Organisation that focuses on the development of rural women and the structural alleviation of poverty. It works in selected villages of Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka. GRAMA facilitates Institution building like Self-help groups (SHGs), Village Watershed Management Committees, Village Farmers Committee and Tank User group etc. to educate and motivate people to build sustainable solutions. Some of the other initiatives taken by GRAMA are informal schooling, Microfinance, Capacity building and research activities relating to Dry Land Development.


Some of the long-term objectives of GRAMA are-

  • To enable women to gain political and socio-economic equality by improving their economic status and making them self sufficient
  • To make people in rural areas aware of their rights by educating and motivating them
  • To develop the sustainable organizational system as well as income generation programs by forming women self-help and management group
  • Contribute effectively to mitigate climate change processes through visible measurable programs such as watershed development and natural farming and scientific farming practices

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