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The Art of Living – JalTara in Maharashtra as a measure for improved soil health and welfare for farmers


BENGALURU, India, March 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — All the vegetation on the land blooms from good soil health and adequate water availability. If these two factors are not aligned, there is nothing that can stop crop spoilage from occurring. As the soil in farms continues to thaw, climate change accentuates the harm to the future population and threatens its sustainability. 

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Deforestation, soil erosion and unavailability of quality rainwater create problems as the farms are no longer helpful in creating a fertile base for consistent and quality cropping. Land-use change and extensive commercialization of agricultural lands have led to this problem.

Various frontline farmers are seen to undergo soil degradation, droughts, and untimely floods, responsible for a destructive farming cycle in the harvesting period. Suman Bai, a farmer from the Murumkheda Village of Maharashtra, tells about the poor quality of crops due to lack of water and poor soil health. She opines, “Due to lack of water, my two acres of land, which once produced four bags of crops, now yielded only two bags.”

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Though the soil is full of self-generating nutrients and mainly responsible for a crop’s good growth, it is difficult to know how this priceless, non-renewable resource is diminishing the value of this jewel underneath farmers’ feet and going unnoticed based on its fertility level. 

Hard-packed top layers of the earth feel like glass concrete, making it hard for the rainwater to percolate and recharge underground. Excessive deterioration and long-term alkalinity in the topsoil make it difficult for the moisture to lock deep in the roots, resulting in severe drought and floods. 

JalTara – the systematic solution to farmers’ problems

Under the able guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the relentless efforts of volunteers all around the globe, Art of Living has found the most effective solution to undermine the droughts and floods and bring back crop fertility to its original base. The JalTara project aims at a massive-scale solution to dig simple recharge pits in rural India’s arable plots to transform this hardened topsoil into an absorbent sponge. The approach strives to make the land capable of bypassing dense and impervious soil and recharging underground aquifers. 

The impact of JalTara has been demonstrable in the economic and environmental aspects. With the help of the JalTara project, the village locals saw crops covering the lands across the seasons. The impact of such a difference has been in resolving the problem of water logging and drastic crop loss. 

The frontline farmers working day and night on the land have a lot to say about the project’s achievement. “In this farm, where the Art of Living JalTara Yojana has been implemented, we constructed recharge structures that are 6 feet deep. We now have enough water for farming, so farmers are pleased now,” says Digambar BabuRao Takle, a farmer of Jalna. Another farmer from Jalna talks about how the construction of the recharge structure has increased their income and crop yield. Madan Pandrinath Jhadav, a resident of Jalna village, informs, “The Art of Living JalTara project carried out in our Shivangiri village helped increase the water levels in our district.” 

The significant impact of this geographically aligned and scientifically articulated approach is unsurprising. The life-changing initiative has validated the water capacity to 100% and reconfirmed to eliminate crop spoilage due to waterlogged fields. Here’s what Dr Purushottam Wayal, The JalTara project coordinator in Maharashtra, says about the initiative’s impact: “We have constructed 20,000 recharge structures in 50 villages and 75,000 acres of groundwater recharged, and the farmers have benefitted. Farmers who grow two crops a year are now expressing their gratitude that with the blessings of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, they can produce all the crops every year, which is profitable.

In essence, the developed framework, and the significant knowledge of experts, geologists working on the field, and farmers, is a scaling improvement for land productivity and crop harvesting. 

About The Art of Living – Social Projects

The Art of Living JalTara, under the guidance of world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is solving India’s looming water crisis & eradicating water poverty.

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Shamika Gandhi




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