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What We Do

Thematic Areas

Diversity is key to managing natural resources in rainfed ecologies. We see the integral nature of natural resources management, diverse and multiple production and livelihoods; each reinforcing the health of others. Prosperity and security in rainfeds depend on strengthening multiple portfolios of livelihoods; we therefore, work on multiple production systems and associated livelihoods.

Watershed Management

WASSAN has initiated a partnership with Rural Development, Department of Jharkhand Government to support it as a Project Management Unit (PMU) in implementing a collaborative program supported by BRLF. The program envisages developing participatory watershed development plans for 695 watersheds (over 3.0 lakh ha area) under MGNREGS to make its investments effective. 12 CSOs are involved each taking up two Blocks. WASSAN will also implement this program in Anandpur and Gudri Blocks of West Singhbhum district – an interior tribal area in the Saranda forest. The program has just started and initial capacity-building programs are ongoing.

Water Resources

Partnering with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and National Rainfed Areas Authority, a learning course is initiated for participants from government and NGOs working on water resources in three states – Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on the subject. The course is for two years and involves online modules and practical experiments led by a group of scientists from Australia and India.

Participatory Groundwater Management

In partnership with a national network group led by ACWADAM, WASSAN has supported several partners of BRLF and Arghyam in the training on participatory groundwater management – in Odisha and Jharkhand states. The program covering nearly 2000 acres in 4 pilot villages, envisages building capacities of the community to measure, monitor groundwater and develop participatory aquifer mapping to arrive at decisions on water management at community level.

Natural Farming

The National Coalition for Natural Farming emerged during the year 2020-21 with several civil society players and Rythu Sadhikara Samstha and researchers wanting to engage with and support the process of spread/ promotion of Natural Farming across the country. With eminent people providing guidance from the Steering Committee, the NCNF team started providing capacity building inputs to various partner organisations (300 organisations & individuals are now members) and supporting promotion of natural farming in different states.”

Seed Systems

 This initiative started over 6 years back in Anantapur has gained ground. Producing seed required for public subsidised seed distribution within a Block, and building a local seed value chain to replace the centralised procurement and distribution of groundnut seed by the Department of Agriculture is attempted. WASSAN coordinated with over 60 FPOs in Anantapur and Chittoor districts supported by CSO Facilitating Agencies for production of certified groundnut seed and linked them to seed distribution system. The seed procurement reached 40,000 quintals last year generating over Rs.40 crores turnover for all these FPOs together.

Livestock

The last mile gap in vaccine administration – particularly for small ruminants and backyard poultry has been a major issue resulting in high morbidity and mortality of animals. In all our programs, the introduction of service-based vaccination i.e. vaccine administration done by a trained vaccinator supporting the Animal Husbandry department and sourcing vaccines from them has been institutionalised. A large number of birds and small ruminants are regularly vaccinated in the program villages.”

Revival of Millets

Comprehensive Revival of Millets program

This program was initiated in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh in tribal and dryland areas. The program is taken up in 7 districts in AP with civil society partners on ground and WASSAN providing overall design and capacity-building support. Millets area in the program Blocks has revived to cover more than 5000 acres and several enterprises have come up.

Odisha Millets Mission

The program was taken up by the Government of Odisha with WASSAN playing critical support in developing the policy, design of the program and facilitating successful implementation on ground. The program has expanded to 81 Blocks in 14 districts with some Districts joining by converging District Mineral Fund. It has an outreach of over 100,000 millet farmers supported by 35 partner CSOs in the state.

Niti Aayog supported Pilot Initiative in 3 districts on Inclusion of Millets in iCDS

 Niti Aayog came forward to take up a pilot program in Telangana state in 3 Aspirational districts (Asifabad, Mulugu and Bhadradri Kothagudem) to introduce millets into ICDS with FCI directed to procure millets and supply. WASSAN facilitates the program. The program has just started and is envisaged to promote millet production in those districts, processing and supply to the ICDS in due course.

Millets Processing

Millets processing was been a major stumbling block in increasing their consumption. Under the Sustain+ project WASSAN team adapted and standardised the technique of using household mixies for dehulling of
minor millets. This is gaining acceptance as a micro-enterprise among a group of households to get their millets processed locally and in small quantities. Over 30 enterprises are now set up and modules on training the
local skilled person in assembling these modified mixies and attend to any repairs that have been completed. The mixies are removing a critical processing bottleneck in the tribal areas.

Backyard Poultry

The National Coalition for Natural Farming emerged during the year 2020-21 with several civil society players and Rythu Sadhikara Samstha and researchers wanting to engage with and support the process of spread/ promotion of Natural Farming across the country. With eminent people providing guidance from the Steering Committee, the NCNF team started providing capacity building inputs to various partner organisations (300 organisations & individuals are now members) and supporting promotion of natural farming in different states.”

Biodiversity

WASSAN partnered with RySS, ICAR-NBPGR’s regional station in Hyderabad and ANGR Agriculture University to initiate its work identifying, conserving, and bringing landraces into use. This is much required for natural farming.”

Ease of Agriculture

WASSAN team worked with the Telangana Biodiversity Board, ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources and the livestock Breeders Associations in the Nallamala region to generate data required for formally registering Poda Thrupu Cattle breed. This has been declared as the first indigenous cattle breed registered in the Telangana State. Since its registration, orders were issued to stop cross-breeding in the area and the demand (and price) for these cattle has increased.

Renewable Energy

Farm ponds are promoted in all the programs that WASSAN is engaged with for harvesting rainwater and providing critical irrigation. Mobile solar energy carts drawn by bullocks with 2 hp capacity solar panels were developed for mobile pumping using solar energy under the Sustain+ program.

Fisheries

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Markets

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Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

A WASH project was executed in 11 villages of Anandapuram Mandal of Vizag District in Andhra Pradesh. As a part of this initiative, required infrastructure was strengthened in rural areas for improving quality of life, in terms of providing access to drinking water, sanitation, irrigation, energy appliances, etc. Several efforts were made for water conservation and improving productivity in agriculture. Access to groundwater was improved by renovating and desilting open wells. Horticulture and solar-based energy-efficient water distribution systems were promoted. More than 280 families benefitted from these interventions. 70 acres of the additional area was brought into cultivation in Rabi season. As a part of plantation and horticulture, cashew and mango orchards were promoted in 87 acres that provided additional income to the farmers.

Ongoing Programs

Odisha Millets Mission (OMM)

WASSAN is partners with the Government of Odisha for the Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal Areas. This is being implemented in 76 blocks of 14 districts of Odisha. The project aims to improve millet production through organic/sustainable agriculture practices, set up processing units, provide market linkages throughs farmer collectives and include millets in state nutrition programmes.

Jiwi Daah Hasa

The program attempts to build the capacities of Gram Panchayats in planning and implementation of MGNREGA for a comprehensive eco-system revival based on watershed development principles. Such revival is envisaged to make use of MGNREGA/ wage entitlements of communities in the Gram Panchayat along with effective plan based convergence of other schemes to double their income, diversify, intensify and improve production, and regenerate the ecosystem.

Community Managed Seed Systems

CMSS program is in partnership of 62 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Andhra Pradesh and AP State Seed Development Corporation (APSSDC). This program is taken up in Anantapur and Chittoor districts to facilitate production, certification and supply of quality seeds for subsidized distribution of the Government. 

Andhra Pradesh Community Management Natural Farming Program (APCNF)

WASSAN is one of the lead Resource Support Organization for this program of the Government of Andhra Pradesh implemented by Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS). WASSAN works in 25 clusters with an outreach of 4000 families in the Tribal areas and drylands to expand the scope of Natural Farming to landscape level and bringing in innovations.

Giri Kodi: Strenthening Desi backyard poultry in Tribal Areas

The program was taken up in collaboration with the Tribal Welfare Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh in reviving backyard poultry with native breeds in 15000 households in the Tribal Areas of the North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. WASSAN provides program design, technical and capacity-building support to the Tribal communities and monitoring support to the Department

Integrated Farming Systems Program

Evolved from the RRA Network’s comprehensive pilots, this program taken up by the Government of Odisha brings in a comprehensive revival of the rainfed production systems in an integrated way; it is implemented by CSOs in the district and targets thousands of families in the most interior Malkangiri district of Odisha. WASSAN supports this initiative as its Program Secretariat.

Research Collaborations

3ie Project

Natural Resources Institute

Economic and Empowerment Impacts of Millets Processing and Value Addition Enterprise by Women SHGs in Tribal Areas of Odisha

Engaging the poor in livelihood programs through women self-help groups (SHGs) is a widely used strategy by state governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India. However, these projects have typically not been implemented in such a way as to facilitate a rigorous evaluation of their impacts. Given the societal and developmental importance of these livelihood initiatives, and given the significant public investments to support them, this knowledge gap is of great importance. It is important to fill this gap and provide some of the first rigorous evidence on the impact of a specific livelihood intervention. The project team, in cooperation with the Odisha Livelihoods Mission, is proposing a randomized evaluation of collective-based millet processing and value addition enterprises under Odisha Millets Mission (OMM).

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WASSAN is a network-based organization focusing on
improving the quality of mainstream programs in
natural resources management and livelihoods since 1999.

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Plot No. 685 & 685, Street No. 12, Narasimha Swamy Colony,
Nagole, Hyderabad – 500 068
Telangana, India

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