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Andhra Pradesh Drought Adaptation Initiative (APDAI)


Diversified Farming System (DFS)

 

This initiative was designed based on the principles of sustainable rainfed farming. It was a comprehensive package of drought adaptation measures for rainfed lands. The integral components of this initiative were; improving the soil productivity, promotion of crop diversity and crop rotation, improving seed accessibility through seed banks, reducing the input cost by adopting NPM method, biomass development (plantation of dry land horticulture and bund plantation) and organizing farmers into groups for providing a platform for services and linkages etc. Though this program was initiated as part of APDAI, this is being still continued with its upscale thorough Rainfed Land Development Program (RLDP), designed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

 

In APDAI, This was initiated in 3 mandals of Mahabubnagar and 2 mandals of Anantapur Districts (see Box 1: Area covered under DFS). As part of its strategy, 100-250 acres of land was identified in each village and farmers were organized into groups of 15-20 and several components were taken up like; compost incorporation, intercropping, green manuring, mulching, biomass development with multipurpose trees, NPM practices, soil & water conservation practices, vegetable production, dry land horticulture, fodder production etc (see Box 13: Activities taken up under DFS). It was made mandatory for the farmer in the CIG to go for intercropping, green manuring and the crop residues to be utilized for composting rather burning. As support system, seed banks were established on enterprizing mode by women group, for supplying various kinds of seeds to the willing farmers through nagu system (1:1.5 times of repayments). Similarly biomass nurseries were established by a small group of women to supply planting material. Small farm implements such as markers, weeders, sprinklers, power sprayers were made available through Custom Hiring Center.

Box 1: Area covered under DFS in (Year wise) (No. of villages)

District

Mahabubnagar

Anantapur

Mandal

Kosgi

Bomraspet Doultabad Nallacheruvu Gandlapenta

Upto 2007 (Since 2006) (APDAI 1st Phase)

5 4 3 - -

2008-2010 (APDAI 2nd Phase)

4 4 4 5 4

2010-11 (as part of RRA)

14 18 19 5 10

The year 2009 -10 was the severe drought year in the last decade. Rains came in the first week of  monsoon (June 2009) and there was a gap of 40 days for next rain. It affected cultivation area partially in Mahabubnagar, but it was more severe in Anantapur district, where 90% of the crop area was affected. In this context, farmers were motivated for contingency cropping. Thus, a total of 1742 acres came under crop diversification in that year. For enabling the farmers to go for alternate crops, seeds of horse gram (50 quintals), sama (3 quintals) and korra (5 quintals) were provided through seed banks. In another 75 acres of area, farmers went for green manure crops with red gram crop. Vegetable cultivation was also promoted under KB drip system.

A Dhal Mill was established in Daulatabad, Mahabubnagar district in 2008 for processing NPM red gram and selling the dhal in packs with a slight premium. The NPM documentation is being done under Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) from NPM India. Processing has started in mini dhal mill with procurement of 151 quintals in 2009 and 112 quintals in 2010.
Box 2: Activities taken up under DFS (as part of APDAI and afterwards)

Activity

No. or Area (Ac covered

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11 (As part of RRA)

Crop diversification

2500

1742

2393

Green manuring crops

20

75

-

Seed banks

5

5

6

Seed supplied in Kgs

8318

13670

-

Vegetable cultivation

38

50

35

NPM practices on red gram

480

425

135

NPM red gram procured (quintals)

39

140

-

NPM dal processing and marketing (quintals)

366

562

455

Rainfed horticulture (acres)

175

54

-

Nurseries

5

5

 

No. of plants raised

130000

-

-

Bund plantation (nos)

84600

196000

-

Based on the DFS experiences, Andhra Pradesh Government designed Rainfed Land Development Program (RLDP) in convergence with NREGA. This is being implemented in 100 villages of APDAI mandals with block approach (each block approximately of 100ha area). WASSAN provided support services for preparation of plans and software development. Training and exposure visits were organized to NREGA staff, village level activists, local leaders and farmers on concept of RLDP. Administration approvals were completed for all the
100 villages, but works were completed in about 30 villages.

Since 2010, focus was shifted from ‘activity to institution building’. This was to focus on improving the quality of the NREGS works and also to facilitate collective action. Farmers were organized into groups and efforts were made to strengthening these groups. Savings were promoted among these groups. In Mahabubnagar district, the groups were federated at Mandal level in 3 Mandals. (See Box 3: Details of DFS groups and Savings).
Box 3: Details of DFS groups and savings

Information details

Mahabubnagar

Anantapur

Kosgi

Bomraspet

Doultabad

Nallacheruvu

Gandlapenta

No. of village

14

11

18

10

5

No. of saving groups

83

36

28

20

12

No. of group having bank account

59

33

28

20

7

Total savings amount Rs

714388

147407

288880

 

 

Regular book keeping villages (Nos)

14

9

7

 

 

Regular book keeping groups (Nos)

59

33

28

 

 

Internal lending groups (Nos)

12

4

12

 

 

Impacts and Lessons

Composting was intensively taken up due to the incentive (Rs. 250 to 300 per compost pit of 1 ton capacity) provided with program funds. Later efforts were made to integrate this activity with NREGS but not succeeded, due to the lack of incentives. Support from line departments (Agriculture and Horticulture) is required for some of the components such as seed subsidy and infrastructure support to seed banks, micro-irrigation systems etc.

Protection from grazing was a major problem and farmers failed in protecting the plantations, more so when it is not horticulture plantation. Appropriate mechanisms need to be evolved for protection and watering. An assessment of the experience clearly brings out that; the planting material must be old and the full investments must be made for protection and watering.

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:: CONTENTS ::

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Diversified Farming Systems

Promotion of Millets through PDS and Integrating into the Farming System

SRI under Tank Commands and Borewells

Groundwater sharing through pooling of bore wells

Community managed common land development

Community managed livestock vaccination program

Deccani sheep breed improvement program

Promotion of Ram lamb rearing

Promotion of network based backyard poultry (BYP)

Community based inland fisheries

Leasing Plough Bullock Constraints for Poor Farmers

Efforts and Strategies to scale up APDAI initiatives

Watershed Support Services And Activities Network (W A S S A N)
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Ph: + 91- 40- 27015295 / 27015296/ Fax: 27018581
E-mail :
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