Vegetable / fish based IFS by using polythene lined water harvesting tank

Gunajit Oinam *


Mr L Ibochouba is a resident of Nungbrung Ngamukhong, who takes much interest in rabi crop cultivation specially seasonal vegetables. He owns an area of 0.125 ha in his homestead land which he utilizes for growing paddy in the kharif season and rabi vegetable in the rabi season after harvest of rice.

The practice was not productive and could not earn him much as he was using long duration local paddy which hindered the timely sowing of the rabi crops as the harvest of paddy was delayed. Though he could produce vegetables like broad leaf mustard, cabbage, onion and peas such as local Makhayatmubi and Maku Chabi, the production was not optimum due to late sown condition and scarcity of water as there was no source for watering the crops during the critical periods in the winter season.

Rice is the staple food of the State and majority of the farmers are used to monocropping of paddy and keeping the land unutilized after harvesting of paddy crop. In the present context of agriculture where everybody is focusing on doubling farmers’ income by 2022, such practice of monocrop rice cannot be fitted in which the produce is utilized for household consumption and there is no extra income from the paddy for sustaining the family and meeting its various needs.

Under such circumstances, where agriculture farming is mostly constituted by small and marginal farmers adoption of suitable Integrated Farming System (IFS) as well as increase in cropping intensity have become important strategies for increasing their income in the long run.

We know that water is the main criteria for success of any kind of farming system or agriculture-based enterprises and we cannot do anything without water. Further, it is also a fact that agriculture is totally rainfed in this region where everything is dependent on the seasonal rains. Since we don’t have well developed irrigation sources, practi-sing rice fallow rabi crop cultivation is really a serious problem facing by our fellow farmers resulting in low cropping intensity.


In view of this present agricultural scenario, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Imphal East has been trying to promote harvesting of water among the farmers by organizing awareness and giving demonstrations through construction of location specific water harvesting structures according to suitability of the particular land situation and farm size. One such water harvesting structure is polyethene lined tank suitable for small holdings, having high seepage and infiltration problems where construction of farm pond is not feasible.

At this point of time, KVK, Imphal East demonstrated short duration Paddy ar. CAU-R3 (100 days) in the particular area during kharif 2016-17 which he could harvest during late September and he would utilize the land for timely sowing of the rabi crops in early part.

After considering the difficulties of water harvesting along the riverine area of Thoubal river where the farmer is residing, KVK, Imphal East constructed a polythene lined water harvesting tank for demons- tration in his field.

The cost sharing was Rs. 3,500/- for 200µ LDPE polyfilm by KVK, Imphal East and self labour by the farmer. The main source of water is from rain through roof top harvesting and collecting water from the channel having a distance of 700 ft. by using 25mm HDPE pipe through siphoning method. The harvested water is utilized for vegetable cultivation, rearing of fish, dairying and for household activities etc.

Key Results/Insight/Interesting Fact

The income earned through different activities by using the harvested water from the tank is furnished as below:

o Name of the farmer: Shri L. Ibochouba Singh
o Location: Latitude: N24070.221’ Longitude: E094011.667’ Altitude: 788.7m
o Total area under vegetable cultivation: 0.125ha
o Size of polylined tank: 16 m (L) x 2 m (B) x 1.2 m (D)
o No. of tanks: 2 nos.
o Volume of the Tank: 38 Cum per tank
o Roof Top Area: 30ft x 14ft (420 Sqft)

A. Income from crops during October, 2017 to March 2018

Sl. No. Particular Area Income (Rs.)
i. Broad leaf mustard, Cabbage, Broccoli 400m2 20,000.00
ii. Garden pea local Makhayatmubi and Makuchabi 400m2 5,600.00
iii. Brinjal local barmashika 200m2 7,000.00
iv. Coriander, onion, fennel, jeer et. 50m2 1,200.00
v. Selling of vegetable seedlings/saplings 10m2 2,560.00
Total (A) 36,360.00
Gross Income : Rs. 36,360.00
Total cost of Cultivation: Rs. 2,200.00
Net Return : Rs. 36,360.00 – 2,200.00 = Rs. 34,160.00 (A) from 0.125 ha in 6-7 months

B. Income from Fisheries Activities:

IMC and tilapia released during Nov., 2017
o Cost of fingerling (IMC and Tilapia, 250 nos.) = Rs. 1,500/-
o Yield of fish harvested during June 2018 = 40kg
= Rs. 8,000/- (@Rs. 200/kg)
o Net Return = Rs. 8000 – Rs. 1500 = Rs. 6500 (B)
o Total Income from Crops and Fish (A+B) = Rs.34,160.00 = Rs. 6,500.00
= Rs. 40,660.00 per 0.125 Ha
= Rs. 3,25,280 per Ha


We can see that from a very small area of 0.125 ha (1/8 of a hectare) the farmers can earn a net profit of Rs. 40,660/- in a very short span of 6.7 month by utilizing the harvested water from the 76 Cum polylined tank.

The idea was to encourage in the localities to adopt or practice such type of water harvesting structure. Thus such types of tanks should be promoted for small holdings having high seepage and infiltration problems where construction of farm pond is not feasible. Such kind of location specific IFS models can be a sustainable means towards increasing farmers income.

Lesson learnt

o Using harvested water from polythene lined tank in the area of Imphal East District of Manipur was found suitable acceptable and provides new livelihood to the farmers particularly those residing at the riverine area who are the worst sufferers from water scarcity during post-monsoon period (Nov-March).

o Vegetable cum fish based Integrated farming system using harvested water from polythene line tank increased the net income of the farmers (B:C ratio 3.28) and helps in reducing the vulnerability of their livelihood.

o The proven technology needs to be demonstrated and popularized in other parts of the region having high seepage and infiltration problems where construction of farm pond is not feasible to increase farmers’ income and poverty reduction.

Public Relations& Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal.
Email: [email protected]

* Gunajit Oinam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 04 November 2023.

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