Pune: HDFC Bank today announced the completion and handover of their Climate Change Adaptation Project to the panchayat of 20 villages in Jafrabad, Maharashtra. The Climate Change Adaptation Project was launched in October 2020, to aid the local people in coping with adverse climate change vulnerabilities such as drought, heat waves, and erratic and intense rainfall patterns. These climatic variations and frequent drought-like conditions lead to land degradation, water scarcity, and low crop yield in the region, directly affecting the livelihood of residents, especially the farmers.

Key achievements of the project:

HDFC Bank helps over 5,400 households fight water shortage

1. Average increase in water level by 4.88 ft.

2. Increase in agriculture productivity of 7,380 acres of agricultural land

3. Increase in the area under irrigation by 2,232 acres through an increase in water availability and water use efficiency

4. 1,500 acres of area brought under diversified farming systems (horticulture, agroforestry, mixed cropping, etc.)

5. 4,028 acres area protected from direct soil erosion

6. 520 acres of area brought under horticulture

7. Created 1,302 million litres of water harvesting potential

8. Increase in average annual household income of 1,628 HHs by 25%

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms. Nusrat Pathan, Head CSR at HDFC Bank said, “Climate change is likely to stay for a longer haul. It becomes imperative to change our approach, making it response based instead of relief based. Our interventions have successfully built the farmer’s response capacity to become climate and market-compatible, while also improving their farm incomes and maintaining the integrity of the ecology.” She further added, that the projects also addressed many important issues like Runoff Harvesting, Groundwater recharge, Soil protection and moisture retention, Micro irrigation, and other climate-resilient agriculture practices.”

HDFC Bank’s interventions have successfully increased agricultural productivity and the area under irrigation through an increase in water availability, along with an increase in the agricultural land cover through diversified farming systems. The project took a multi-dimension approach with work in the areas of Area Treatment, Horticulture, Water Resource Development, Nala Deepening, Micro Irrigation System Automatic Weather Station, and Pest and nutrient Management Demonstrations. Cumulatively, the project has helped enhance the lives of nearly all 25,000 village dwellers.