Background

Geography Situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and ensconced in the rain shadow area of the Sahyadri Range, the average annual rainfall in the district is 579 mm, though this is both erratic and uneven [Government of Maharashtra 1991]. Out of the total geographical area of the village which is 976.84 hectares, 795.23 hectares is cultivable. Demography The population of Hiware Bazar in 2001 was 1,150. The population is relatively homogeneous in terms of caste, an important factor in facilitating collective action. As in other regions of western Maharashtra, Marathas constitute the dominant caste (185 out of the 205 households). Economy Hiware Bazar is now reaping economic harvests of water conservation. Grass production has gone up from 100 metric tonnes in 2000 to 1000 metric tonnes in 2004. This has resulted in increased milk production from mere 150 litres per day during mid-1990s to 2200 litres per day now. The number of wells has increased from 97 to 217. The land under irrigation has lone up from 120 ha in 1999 to 260 ha in 2006. Each village resident earns almost double of most of the country’s rural population. In the last 15 years the average income has gone up by 20 times. According to recent press coverage, there are 54 millionaires in this village. Resources Natural resources in this rain shadow area are scarce apart from the shrubbery and a few trees which are native to this area. (Need more info on flaura, fauna and other resources)

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