During our Summer internship of the 2021 program with the help of our Market Research interns, Gaia Bharat was able to conduct a survey which was based on interviewing about 100+ farmers from various locations of the state of Uttar Pradesh. This data was collected by directly meeting, cold callings to the farmers. And not only helped the company in understanding the ground root situation but also came to know that the farmers are facing problems not only concerning water depletion, water scarcity but also loss of crops due to hefty rainwater, excessive and sudden water flooding. And because of this each year, thousands of farmers face losses agriculturally as well as monetary.
We generated pie charts from some of the important questions that we have had asked, out of many, for the analysis of the data collected, to present the results in a more convenient and understandable way. And to found that 89% of them used groundwater as their primary source in winter and 85% of them used the same in summer since there is already rainfall to utilize for in monsoon period, and not only the groundwater is the primary source of the water used by most of the farmer but it is their first preference too and when asked why? Most of them stated that it is more convenient and easier to access. The lack of resources prevents them from storing and using rainwater as we found 62% of them do not store rainwater and 10% use ponds.
We discovered that 83% of the farmers were not aware of the annual need for water for their crops and simultaneously they are unaware of the rate of depletion of the underground water and believe that it will continue to last for eons.
What was most astonishing for us and eye-opening for us was that Even with the given option of preference in between groundwater, canal water, or any other source which will provide them water instead of groundwater, 88% of them chose to prefer groundwater. This shows how deep-rooted their dependence is on the groundwater.
It is also found that 96% of them used flooding as their method of irrigation. And when it comes to rainwater storage, the excess and majority of rainwater are left to evaporate by 95% of them. Because of this excess rainwater during normal or irregular monsoon and sudden downpours also lead to the destruction of crops as there isn’t any absolute solution available currently focusing specifically on the agricultural sector.
Since we as an organization are working in the field of water conservation and are aware of the severity of the water crisis currently and in the future to occur in the country. Therefore to understand the situation psychologically amongst the most water-consuming sector we also asked the farmer if they have any idea of how long they think the groundwater will last and As per the answers given by them, 77%of them had no idea and 43% of the farmers have no idea of what is to be done if they ever run out of groundwater and 42% of them will shift to using the canal water out of which 39% find it difficult to utilize the canal water since canals are far away.
When asked what is the main problem that they face or the reason for most of their loss incurred they 57% stated majorly due to excess water, pests, weather, drought, and fertilizers with 66% of the losses occurring mostly in summer itself.
And to the most common question of why do they don’t use CANAL WATER? We found that out of those 105-107 farmers 39% said that canals were from their farm area, 25% said there was no canal nearby, 27% said they don’t find any difficulty in getting water from the canal, 6% said the water was not even present if the canal was even there.
The study also found that most of the farmers grow the same crops each season because the demand for the crops gets reduced. Very few of them are aware of the government schemes which are granted. And because of this Lack of awareness and resources, they have to face many problems professionally, physically, and mentally (due to the losses incurred).
Therefore, this study and data analysis not only have helped our company in understanding what in fact is the actual problem faced by them but also helped us in understanding that all these factors eventually force the farmers to be directly dependent on the groundwater. And it’s high time to help them in reducing their direct dependency on the groundwater anyhow. And has helped us in research and designing something which will help us in solving the majority of the problems faced by them with respect to not only recharging but storage as well.