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Collection of snow in snow-fed irrigation pond delights farmers

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Jumla, January 30, 2017: Snow-fed irrigation ponds installed in Jumla district have managed to collect considerable amount of snow due to the recent snowfall. Farmers would be able to use the pond for irrigation purpose.

District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), Jumla, had installed snow-fed ponds in the dry areas of western Jumla to ease farmers’ problems. The ponds collect snow in winter, which can be used in summer for irrigation. Many locals in the district’s western parts are dependent on the pond for irrigation purpose, mostly for growing fruits.

The concept of snow-fed ponds brought by the ADO helps in effective management of irrigation. Such ponds are considered model ponds in Karnali Zone. “Indeed, the project of snow-fed pond in Jumla is the first in the entire zone,” said Balak Ram Devkota, planning officer at the DADO.

At present, there are hundreds of snow-fed ponds dug throughout the district, from Raralihi to Garjyangkot. These ponds can provide irrigation to at least a dozen plants.

“After installation of the ponds, it has greatly aided in apple farming. The apple farming has increased considerably,” said Devkota, adding that enough snow has been collected for planting season in June and July.

Deep Bahadur Malla, a farmer in Chandannath, said the snow collected in the ponds have brought them a huge respite for agriculture. “Besides irrigation, water in the pond is also enough to feed cattle,” he said. Farmers like him are very happy to have model ponds, the first of its kind in the whole region.

Technicians said they should be careful enough to know where to dig snow-fed ponds and what shape they should be given. Planning Officer Devkta says ponds should be dug just below barren farms.

According to the DADO, the existing snow-fed ponds in the district have been storing about 1,700 liters to 3,700 liters of water. Recently, it snowed in Jumla for the third time this year.

Records show that about 1,500 households in the district have apple orchard. However, only 116 apple farms have been registered. About 3,200 hector of land are used for apple farming, the record shows.

As farmers started using snow-fed ponds, the DADO has high expectations that agricultural productivity in the district would increase significantly.

By DB Buda