Deshpande Foundation

Farm Ponds

Water-harvesting structures to increase farmers’ income, production, and food security by addressing farmer concerns such as climate variability & lack of water storage.


In this program, different sized farm ponds are constructed based on the demands and needs of farmers, making it a viable choice irrespective of the size of the farmlands. The aim of the Farm Ponds program has been to address farmer concerns—climate variability, lack of water storage, crop failure, and non-remunerative prices, among others.

The program has enhanced rainwater harvesting, allowing farmers to shift towards multiple cropping every year. In addition to generating between two to six times their income, farmers are also growing cash crops and short-duration vegetables. It has significantly improved the production, economic conditions, food security, and nutrition among farmers.

In 2020, the Farm Ponds program began implementing the financial model in collaboration with government and banking institutions. 1183 farm ponds have been built under this model and 329 Joint Liability Groups (JLG) have been formed, to engage the farmers.


Farm Ponds have started to improve the production, food security, and nutrition among farmers. We look forward to constructing more farm ponds in association with our partners and improving the socio-economic conditions of farmers and their families.

7000+ farm ponds
7000+ farm ponds
64% increase in incomes of over 75% of the farmers
64% increase in incomes of over 75% of the farmers
Increase in farm profits by 40% in Rabi season
Increase in farm profits by 40% in Rabi season
14.5% increase in crop productivity
14.5% increase in crop productivity
Additional 75 days of employment generated
Additional 75 days of employment generated
Creditworthiness for farmers
Creditworthiness for farmers

Unique Offerings

  • Addresses water scarcity
  • Irrigates 4-5 acres of land
  • Multiple cropping
  • Supports Rabi (winter season) cropping
  • Life of more than 7 years

Our Approach

  • Research-based approach
  • Working with Gram Panchayats
  • Innovative business model: Farmer contribution
  • Tech with relevance: Deploying AI, ML and geospatial analytics for optimal locations & monitoring outcomes
  • Collaboration


Technology will play a crucial role in sustainably scaling the Farm Pond program. The Rural Transformation Technology Centre (RTTC) developed by us is helping to streamline the operational and logistical management using satellite imagery to offer near real-time visibility of on-ground situations.

Tech for Impact & Scale
Tech for Impact & Scale

Deploys technological solutions during all stages of Farm Ponds:

  • Site-selection
  • Execution & real-time monitoring of construction
  • Impact assessment
  • Monitoring & evaluation
  • Geo-tagging

Technical Advisory Service empowering with data on trends and patterns from the field for better analytics:

  • Soil moisture
  • Cropping patterns
  • Weather and more
  • Hydrology

Farm Ponds became a demand-driven programme when farmers experienced benefits.