The most important precondition to make farming profitable for small and marginal tribal farmers residing in undulating terrains is the stabilization of the Kharif crop. Long dry spells between two successive monsoon showers are becoming increasingly common. This has led to a high rate of crop failure among tribal farmers dependent upon monsoon for cultivation.
Seasonal streams and nalas act as lifeboats for these farmers as they fulfill critical irrigation needs during dry spells. However, most such streams run dry two months post-monsoon. Undulating terrains and increased intensity of rains due to climate change impact lead to heavy runoff. This coupled with suboptimal base levels is resulting in drying of the seasonal streams faster than ever before.
The rejuvenation of such streams/nalas will not only increase the power of these streams but also recharge groundwater and provide for the irrigation needs of small and marginal farmers.
Dohas are saucer-shaped structures built along the length of the stream to allow for more quantum of water to be stored, thus increasing the storage and recharge capacity of the stream. This, in turn, increases the power of the stream. Known as ‘Doh’ in Marathi, this simple water harvesting technology has been used by farmers of water-scarce Vidarbha for a long time.