Holiyu Project


In North Gujarat, particularly Patan District is having subsurface aquifer totally saline and ground water is unsuitable for irrigation usage. Soil in this area is also saline. The rainfall in this area is erratic and insufficient. Problematic soil and water make it difficult for the farmers to grow successfully even a Kharif crop. This leads to distressed migration of farmers in search of labour and fodder for their milch animals elsewhere. The major source of livelihood of the farmers in this region is farming and animal husbandry.

Key constraints in agricultural development in North Gujarat particularly in Patan district:


  1. No perennial water source for irrigation.
  2. Poor quality ground water. Subsurface aquifer totally saline and unsuitable for irrigation usage.
  3. The soil is also saline with low drainage capacity.
  4. The resourceful farmers extract water from a depth of nearly 1200/1300 ft with an investment of Rs. 12-16 lakhs for deep tube-well and they command local irrigation market and charge exorbitant irrigation rate to other farmers.
  5. Water table is very deep and decreasing year on year because of withdrawal of water from deep aquifers.
  6. Scanty and erratic rainfall.
  7. During monsoon, area gets water logged due to poor drainage capacity of soil because of soil salinity. Thus, rain water recharge in aquifer is very low. 

    How these problems can be tackled by Holiyu Project (Farm innovation)?


    The nearest saline aquifers are of 70-100 ft depth in this area with high salinity. The filtered water collected through Holiyu can be stored over this aquifers and it floats over there. In lean period, this water can be pumped up for irrigation. As the quality of irrigation water is good, crop thrives well and salinity of upper soil layer gets managed.




    What is Holiyu?

    Holiyu is essentially a technique of storing and retaining rainwater underground in the areas where aquifer is of saline water and soil is affected with salinity. The technique involves making boring at a location in the farmland where rainwater gets collected and stagnates during the monsoon season. The rainwater seeps into underground pockets created artificially by constructing Holiyu. Pocket is a subsoil porous sandy layer where cavity can be created by constructing Holiyu and rainwater which seeps into this pocket gets stored. As the rainwater is having lower density than the saline water, it floats on upper portion of the underground water storage pockets. Such stored water can be used for irrigation.




  8. To empower the marginal, small and medium farmers to create own water resource for irrigation.
  9. To inculcate habit of cooperative use of water resource through technological intervention.
  10. To provide livelihood means to the resource poor farmers.
  11. To prevent distressed migration and upliftment of socio-economic condition of the farmers.



    Area of the Project:

    Salinity affected areas of Patan District.


    Type of beneficiaries for the Project:

    Poor marginal/small/medium farmers having no irrigation facilities.

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Last Updated Date: 21/06/2024
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