Chouka System Demonstration and Adoption in Odisha
The Chouka system is a traditional method for rainwater harvesting used in arid areas in many states. Basically, a chouka is usually five-ten feet in length and width and one foot deep. These choukas catch rainwater and increase soil moisture for a long time. Thus, this method directly affects agriculture activities in dry areas. CORD introduced the chouka system in 2009 at the CORD Deuladiha center and observed an increase in soil and rejuvenation of a small water well after this intervention. The CORD Team has demonstrated this system at many sites and dug around 150 choukas with community support. The Department of Horticulture of the Odisha government adopted chouka in its program and demonstrated it in many places along with fruit plantations and other activities. This chouka system has become famous in the farmer community, and many farmers have adopted it successfully.
Thus, in many places, farmers have started cultivation on unirrigated land after increasing soil moisture. Chouka is a low-cost and environmentally friendly technique to increase soil moisture and crop productivity.