Arable Land Conservation Measures
Cultivation is done along the contours. This forms the mini barriers across the flow path of the runoff, which conserves rain water in situ & check soil erosion. Effectiveness of contour cultivation varies with slope, crop cover and soil. It is most effective on moderate slope ranging from 2 to 7%.
CONTOUR BUND/ CONTOUR VEGETATIVE HEDGE/FEILD BUNDS
Contour bunds are small earthen bunds constructed along the contour on the agriculture lands to check soil erosion and conserve sufficient moisture to grow crops. These buds are purified with locally available vegetation like Khus, Munja, Dhaman and Stylo Hamata are raised on the bund.
Khadin (indigenous water harvesting structure)
Khadin is a traditional practices in the desert areas to harvest rainwater. It is an earthen bund constructed across the slope on flatter lands where rain water is received from the relatively impervious uplands with steeper slopes. The submerged land of the khadin is cultivable both in Kharif and Rabi depending upon the quantity of runoff received.
Tanka is a covered masonry runoff storage tank which collects runoff water from artificial catchment constructed around it.. It is also an age old practice in the desert areas and is used for harvesting surface runoff water for life saving irrigation and drinking purposes.
It consists of plantation of grasses, shrubs and trees across the wind direction on the field boundary to form a vegetative barrier to protect the lands from fast blowing wind.
A typical shelter belt should have conical shape in cross section. It is very useful in western part of Rajasthan.
SAND DUNE STABILISATION
Shifting sand dunes pose serious threat to the productive agriculture lands so these need to be stabilised. This is done through establishment of micro wind breaks on the windward side of the sand dune in parallel strips or in a chess board pattern. Plantation is done in between these checks.
Suitable forestry plants like Khejri, Ardoo, Desi Babool, Neem, Kumtha etc. are planted on the field boundaries to meet the fuel & fodder requirements of the farmer.
Suitable horticulture plants like Mango, Lemon, Guava, Ber, Pomegranate, Anwala etc. are grown with the crops, to improve the income & nutrition level of the cultivators.
To show the quantitative and qualitative difference between traditional and improved practices/ inputs and in order to motivate the farmers to adopt improved agricultural practices/ inputs recommended by the Research Institutions/ Department of Agriculture, demonstrations are conducted in a small area of 0.25 ha.
ORGANIC FARMING SYSTEM/ COMPOST PITS
Organic manure is decomposed agricultural waste and cow dung, which is applied in the field in place of chemical fertilizers. It is cheaper, locally available and without any kind of side effect.