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JM Financial Foundation Builds 10,000+ trenches in Palghar in its Remarkable Water Conservation Effort 

4 April 2024: JM Financial Foundation (JMFF) has been implementing the Integrated Village Development Project (‘Project’) in a cluster of seven villages and 15 hamlets of Mokhada block in Palghar, Maharashtra. Over the past five years, the project has constructed water conservation structures, by promoting Continuous Contour Trenches (CCTs) along hill slopes in some of the most water-scarce areas of the block in an attempt to dispel relying on large constructed water conservation structures. A total of 10,794 CCTs were dug and deepened year on year, leading to an in-situ water conservation, and natural recharge of groundwater, while also preventing run-off of surface water in the abundant monsoons in this region. Besides, the project has promoted rainwater harvesting with the digging of 294 small farm ponds (Jalkunds).

Puja Dave, Executive Director and Head CSR, JM Financial Group said, “Our efforts in Mokhada block have been focusing consistently on structured grassroots interventions, reaping visible results over the years. A region known for water crises, but surviving on agriculture, like Mokhada, needed focused investments in sustainable modes of water conservation, that are easily understood and adapted at a scale. Every summer, from April to June, CCTs have been dug, and we aim at digging further in the coming year. The trenches dug to date, cover an area of 180 acres, and have provided farmers, especially those from the Katkari community with an opportunity to earn locally, and not migrate at the beginning of the year.” 

Along with its water conservation initiatives, the Foundation has also supported the plantation of 1,722 saplings of mango and cashew, which not only safeguards soil health but also yields economic benefits for the landowning farmers.

As a cornerstone of JM Financial Foundation’s intervention, water harvesting and conservation are linked to the objective of enhancing farmers’ livelihoods. Since its initiation in 2018, the project has worked on bolstering agricultural yield by encouraging multi-cropping and farming in two seasons. The efforts entailed regular, scientific training, and extending advanced agri-inputs to 1,100+ marginal and small farmers. 

The foundation synergizes initiatives in agriculture and water conservation to bridge the gap between the community and public schemes and programs designed for them. With the intervention of two helpdesks set up and run at Ase and Beriste Gram Panchayats, the Integrated Village Development Project has linked farmer families with benefits worth over INR 7 Crore thus far.

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