Nashik Farmers benefit from water harvesting

Hindustan Unilever Foundation helps to create water harvesting potential of over 2 billion litres in Nashik

October 31, 2014, Nashik: Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has created a collective and cumulative water harvesting potential of 2.1 billion litres through the Barsingave Integrated Watershed Development Project in Igatpuri block of Nashik district in Maharashtra.

The project was started in 2010 in partnership with the Maharashtra Institute of Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (MITTRA) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Through this project approximately 450 hectares of agriculture land was treated and 9 water harvesting structures like check dams were developed which helped to stabilized 542 hectares with improved availability of water. This resulted in increase of agricultural production by over 800 tonnes. Employment opportunities equivalent to over 17006 person days were generated and over 500 farmers and women were trained through capacity building programmes to promote better agricultural practices. A Social Return on Investment* (SROI) of approximately 1.84 was achieved.

As part of this project, a water governance structure was established, wherein, villagers were organized into common interest groups, village watershed committees and self help groups. For increasing crop yield soil and moisture conservation, water harvesting structures, series of capacity building training programmes on good agriculture practices were carried in project area.

HUL has been working for more than a decade in the area of water conservation in partnership with NGOs and local communities across the country, in locations which face acute water shortage. The success of these projects has been driven by establishing public-private partnerships involving the local communities. This has helped to not only sustain these projects but also to scale them. HUL so far has initiated 15 projects in more than 700 villages across 13 river basins in 13 states in India that will enable to create capacity towards conserving more than 100 billion litres of water by 2015.

* SROI is a framework based on social generally accepted accounting principles (SGAAP) that can be used to help manage and understand the social, economic and environmental outcomes created by an organisation. (Refer to: accessed on September 8, 2014 at 18:17)

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