The India CSR Network has awarded Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) for its watershed development efforts in India’s Telangana state. The efforts involved creating 51 water harvesting structures in Buchinelli village over three years that led to harvesting 137,000 m3 rainwater every year, benefitting around 150 farmers. Water harvesting with other initiatives like introduction of high-yielding crops yielded up to 40% higher productivity.
Representing the project team from M&M, Rural Education and Agricultural Development (READ) and ICRISAT, Dr Rajesh Nune, Hydrologist at ICRISAT Development Center (IDC), received the “Best Watershed Project in Agriculture” award during an awards distribution ceremony that was held online on 16 January 2021.
“We thank India CSR for recognizing us,” Dr Nune said while acknowledging the recognition. “This collaboration addresses several issues including declining groundwater levels, surface water availability, declining soil quality, low crop yields and malnutrition, particularly among women and children. Through science-based interventions, we are showing farmers how they can harvest rainwater during monsoon and use it effectively in the dry season without degrading existing groundwater resources.”
He further said that the efforts have increased yields by 15% to 40% and led to additional incomes ranging between ₹ 5000 and 15000 (US$ 68 to 205) per acre (0.4 hectare) per year.
“Many people in Buchinelli village work in the Mahindra & Mahindra factory located just across the village. It is laudable that the sense of giving back to the village by M&M has transformed the village. This is the true spirit of CSR,” Dr Sreenath Dixit, Head, IDC, said.