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Issue (Apr-Jul 2000)                                               (MANAGE Bulletin)

Participatory Adaptive Research Project

MANAGE has taken up the responsibility of implementing the Participatory Adaptive Research Project - an IFAD

 assisted project of the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Welfare Department. The Project is being implemented in three centers viz., Bhadrachalam in Khammam district, Rampachodavaram in East Godavari district and Utnoor in Adilabad district. In all the three centers a project office has been established and the field staff have been recruited. To start with the Kharif 2000-2001, 4 villages at each of the three centers were selected based on different agora-ecological situations, covering factors like altitude, soil, climate, distance from urban area, predominant tribes and irrigation potential. It is planned to select a total number of 24 villages in three centers for establishing the crop component research, farming systems and natural resource management works that suit the situation. The progress of the project is documented here.

Major recommendations of IFAD mission are as follows:

1. Focus of adaptive research should be on overall resource base available to farmers.

2. Rational utilization of natural resources which will enable the tribal communities to achieve local food security.

3. Unit farm comprising of different land types e.g irrigated, podu, rainfed homestead supported by livestock.

4. Fine tuning of ITDA activities, such as podu conversion into orchards, etc.

Strategies and Action Plans

The main focus of the Adaptive Research Project is on three major components viz., Crop / Commodity Oriented Research, Farming Systems Research and Natural Resource Management.

Crop / Commodity Oriented Research

Adaptive trials on mandatory crops like Jowar, pearl millet, ragi, niger, dry paddy, wet paddy, cotton in the three centers will be continued on the basis of Farming Situation Based Research and Extension (FSBRE). i.e. each crop is grown under a range of farming situations based on the micro level factors of previous crop, source of irrigation, time of sowing, problem soils etc.,

Farm and Family Systems Approach

Farm and family will be taken as a unit of operation. Even within a given village there are a range of systems under which  farms are operating or managed. Overall development of the family with regard to health of the children, food and clothing and alleviation in the living standard shall be the focus of the project.

Natural Resource Management

It has been observed that most of the existing programmes carry out development of natural resources as "a stand alone activity". However, for sustainable development and utilization of natural resources it is necessary that natural resource management is integrated with social resource management will not take place unless natural resource management is linked with the livelihood management. Hence the main focus will be on natural resource management, social resource management and livelihood management.

Progress

A team consisting of Field Coordinator and Sector Officers of respective centers visited the tribal villages of Bhadrachalam, Rampachodavaram and Utnoor in December 1999 to know the socio-economic status, various sources of income generation, crops grown, cropping patterns, and rituals, customs, traditions and beliefs of the tribal farmers and study various alternatives available for them to ensure a better standard of living.

Village selection

In consultation with the Project Officers twelve villages were selected for kharif 2000-2001. These include Mallethota, Ulmoor, Koltur and Kanai Gudem, in Bhadrachalam, Cheruvupalem and D.N.Palam, P.M.Kota, Kutrawada in Rampachodavaram, and Pipri, Ginnera, Dubbuguda and Bhumuni Gondhi in Utnoor.

Selection of farmers in Grama sabhas

During March 2000, the field coordinator and the Sector officers of respective centers conducted grama sabhas in each of the selected villages and selected 4 resource rich and 4 resource poor farmers. The sector officers were then asked to conduct the "bench mark survey" of each individual selected farmer with respect to their economic assets, crops grown, the varieties chosen the yield data, marketing and finally income to each family from all sources including horticulture, animal husbandry, minor forest produce etc.

Crop trials

Based on the gap analysis and the farmer's choice of the variety, the extent of area under each trial and the technological interventions to be made were finalized on 50% share of the farmer. In May 2000 collaboration for scientific input and support was agreed upon with institutions like NRCS, ANGRAU, and ICRISAT. As such pigeon pea (Four different varieties viz., Asha, Maruti  ICPL 84060 and 8702) and Jowar foundation seed of promising varieties were obtained from ICRISAT and three hybrid and one variety (Pure line ) of Jowar seed was obtained from NRCS on no cost basis for trial purpose. Center wise action plans were prepared focusing mainly on crop component research and also on other enterprises like horticulture, poultry and inter cropping.

Awareness Camps

Scientists from Pandirmamidi Research Station (ANGRAU) conduced awareness camps in each of the four selected villages. Dr.Venkanna, Agronomist and his associate scientist in horticulture explained to the farmers about the technologies in paddy and other major crops in a question - answer session and by conducting field demonstrations for imparting skills like line sowing, fertiliser application etc. The Assistant Director of Animal husbandry conducted a vaccination programme for the poultry birds (vanaraj and local breeds) given to the women farmers.

Dr.Ranga Rao, from ICRISAT and his associate scientists visited Bhadrachalam and the selected villages Ulmoor and Mallethota and explained to the farmers the technological package of practices of Pigeon Pea (red gram)

At Utnoor center, awareness camps for two days covering all the selected villages were conducted with the help of Dr. Appaji Chary Extensionist and Senior Scientist from National Research Center for Sorghum (NRCS). He explained about the technological package of the jowar Hybrids and the cultivar supplied by the NRCS, crucial stages of the crop growth and the correct time of harvesting the crop especially in the high rainfall areas like utnoor.

Cyber connectivity

Internet connectivity is provided at three centers viz., Bhadrachalam, Rampachodavarm and Utnoor. This will connect the centers with MANAGE, Hyderabad and the Directorate of Tribal Welfare.

Training

A five day training programme on participatory and Watershed Management was conducted for the field functionaries (Watershed Development  Team WDT-members) at ITDA Rampachodavaram. A total number of 26 participants mainly from the soil conservation Department and Engineering department attended the training.

Meetings

The IFAD Director for Asiatic Countries Mr.Frang Roy visited Khammam and Bhadrachalam. The District Collector Shri.Giridhar, Mr.Frang Roy, Director ,IFAD, and the Project Officer appreciated the work done by MANAGE in the participatory Adaptive Research project.

For more information please contact Dr.J.P.Singh, Project Director and Dr.M.A.Kareem, Field co-ordinator, Participatory Adaptive Research Project (PAR) MANAGE Hyderabad.

Economic Evaluation of Manchal Watershed Development Project : A Study

India’s strategy of agricultural growth which continues to focus on foodgrain production has remained crop biased and irrigation biased. The irrigated potential in the country is estimated to be about 56 percent of the cropped area. Thus as much as 44 percent of the cropland is likely to remain unirrigated, where watershed development strategy is the most appropriate. The  watershed development is being ambitiously extended to all possible areas in the country.

 But so far, very little information is available about the impact of such developmental programmes on the economy of rural households. Realizing the importance of an analytical economic evaluation of watershed projects, MANAGE has undertaken an in-depth study of Manchal Watershed Project. This project is being implemented by MANAGE as project implementation agency. The study would be helpful for researchers and decision makers in understanding the complex interactions of ecological, economic and demographic attributes arising out of watershed development programme. This will also help implementation agencies of watershed management projects for better implementation.

 Project Area:

Manchal Watershed is located in the Manchal Mandal in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh. It consists of 9 watersheds covering 6 villages of Manchal Mandal (i.e., Arutla, Chennareddyguda, Bandelmur, Japal, Asmathpur and Chandhkhanguda) . MANAGE is the Project Implementation Agency (PIA) for the nine watersheds. Out of these 9 micro-watersheds , the work in 2 watersheds (Bandelmur and Chennareddyguda) is at the final stage. The implementation of the project in the remaining watersheds is still going on. The present study is a case study in Bandelmur Watershed Development Project.

 Study Objectives:

            a. To study the socio-economic characteristics of the households in the Watershed Project Area.
            b. To study the impact of watershed development programme on land use, cropping pattern, productivity and     
                production in the project area.
            c. To study the impact of watershed development programme on employment and income of the                    
                households.
            d. To suggest suitable policy measures for scientific management of watershed.
 
 Scope of the study:
 
 The present study was based on the data collected from 90 households in the watershed area before (1996-97) and after (1998-99) implementation of the project. They constitute 30 from marginal ,30 from small and 30 from large households.

 Summary of results: 

1. Analysis of the land use pattern before and after implementation of watershed revealed that an additional area of 79.  
    hectares (i.e., cultivable waste degraded land) was brought under cultivation. This means that a net change of about 
    22.66 percent in the cultivated area was brought about due to the implementation of Watershed Management Project in 
    the area.
2With investments made on soil and water conservation measures, supplemental irrigation through surface water, storage     
    and water harvesting structures, for storing excess rain water was made available to the farmers in the area. Thus, 59.55   
    percent of the cultivated area came under irrigation as against 47.87 percent before, as a result of the implementation of     
    the project in the area.
3. Besides, the general water table, which was 30m before, has come down to 25m after implementation of watershed  in  the 
    project area.
4.  A comparison of the cropping pattern before and after implementation of watershed indicated that the was a trend towards 
      commercialization of agriculture. The extent of such commercialization was however only marginal.
 
5. The overall cropping intensity incase of all categories of sample farms was 140.70 and 161.33 percent before  and after 
    implementation of watershed respectively without taking fallow land into consideration. But after taking fallow land into 
    cultivation, the intensity of cropping was found to be 131.95 and 156.30 percent during pre and post implementation periods 
    respectively.
 
6.There was an increase in the yield rates realized by the sample households after implementation of watershed in case of 
   high yielding varieties of paddy, millets, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables.
  
7.An increase in production was realized by the sample households in case of high yielding varieties of paddy, millets,    
   pulses, oilseeds and vegetables respectively. Vegetables recorded the highest increase in production after implementation   
   of watershed followed by oilseeds in the project area. Thus the implementation of watershed development programme in   
   the area has not only enabled the farmers to enhance their crop productivity but also helped to realize higher crop output.
 
8.The employment status of the sample households revealed that the average number of days emcase of marginal, small and  
   large farms after implementation of watershed reached a level of 275.73, 263.53 and 307.57 days as against 229.08, 227.87 
   and 253.20 days respectively before implementation ployed in of watershed development programme.
 
9. After implementation of watershed, per household income increased by 28.93 percent. These results therefore support  
    that execution of watershed development programme enabled the households to realize higher level of income.
 
10.The contribution of Watershed Management Programme to the total change in farm income was estimated at 35.25 
    percent. The analysis further indicated that, quite a large proportion of households moved to higher income slabs which 
    suggests that continuous follow-up action on all the components of watershed programme in the area will bring about      
    further improvement in the socio-economic condition of rural households
 
11.The constraints like input-supply system, technical know-how and motivation towards adoption of recommended     
     practices as stated by the farmers are the key factors which must be looked into by the project implementing agency for 
     successful implementation of watershed development programme in the area.

 Policy Implications: Policy Implications:

1.   The state is endowed with good cultivable land and gets moderate precipitation. But the precipitation in a short span of time causes run-off, soils erosion, degradation and denudation. Therefore efforts should be made to evolve plans for minimising soil erosion and degradation and conservation of each drop of water in the soil-plant system for higher productivity. Hence, the Government has to come out with specific policies to prevent degradation of soil, denudation of forest areas and conserve rain water in dry land farming regions of Andhra Pradesh with sufficient budgetary provision.1.   The state is endowed with good cultivable land and gets moderate precipitation. But the precipitation in a short span of time causes run-off, soils erosion, degradation and denudation. Therefore efforts should be made to evolve plans for minimising soil erosion and degradation and conservation of each drop of water in the soil-plant system for higher productivity. Hence, the Government has to come out with specific policies to prevent degradation of soil, denudation of forest areas and conserve rain water in dry land farming regions of Andhra Pradesh with sufficient budgetary provision.

2.   The farming system research network is very much required for better drought management for a particular area. Better farming system approach may be indicated to the farmers to maximize farm returns. People participation from the beginning of the plan should be ensured for success of the project.2.   The farming system research network is very much required for better drought management for a particular area. Better farming system approach may be indicated to the farmers to maximize farm returns. People participation from the beginning of the plan should be ensured for success of the project.

3.   The certified improved seeds and other inputs are not still readily available to the farmers. The farmers are also not aware of the technical know-how. Therefore, government agencies should work out necessary input supply policy for timely and proper distribution of inputs.3.   The certified improved seeds and other inputs are not still readily available to the farmers. The farmers are also not aware of the technical know-how. Therefore, government agencies should work out necessary input supply policy for timely and proper distribution of inputs.

4.   The farmers in dry land farming region are generally resource poor. Government must make improved and innovative policies in helping farmers through better and easy lending procedures by financial institutions. Similar innovative and dynamic insurance policy should be framed and implemented to help dry land farmers.4.   The farmers in dry land farming region are generally resource poor. Government must make improved and innovative policies in helping farmers through better and easy lending procedures by financial institutions. Similar innovative and dynamic insurance policy should be framed and implemented to help dry land farmers.

5.   Besides management of natural resources like land and water, other components like, farm production system through optimum crop planning and livelihood support system must be persued simultaneously for development of watershed on a sustainable basis.5.   Besides management of natural resources like land and water, other components like, farm production system through optimum crop planning and livelihood support system must be persued simultaneously for development of watershed on a sustainable basis.

6.   The implementing agencies either GO or NGO should take the help of Scientists from Agricultural Universities from the planning to implementation and integration of the services of line departments for holistic development of the project area.6.   The implementing agencies either GO or NGO should take the help of Scientists from Agricultural Universities from the planning to implementation and integration of the services of line departments for holistic development of the project area.

7.   Since the element of risk pervades the dryland production system emphasis should be on diversified and mixed farming systems, which includes agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry to achieve twin objective of sustainable production and restoration of ecological balance in a harmonious management of land and water resources.7.   Since the element of risk pervades the dryland production system emphasis should be on diversified and mixed farming systems, which includes agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry to achieve twin objective of sustainable production and restoration of ecological balance in a harmonious management of land and water resources.

8.   The marketing system is not perfect due to many reasons such as, poverty and other socio-economic conditions of the farmers. As a result, the produce in the watershed is either consumed or finds only a local market for sale. The marketing infrastructure is so poor that the farmer always at a disadvantage. Thus there is need to improve and strengthen the marketing system so that a remunerative price is ensured for the agricultural produce, animal produce, forest produce and produce of other subsidiary income generating activities.8.   The marketing system is not perfect due to many reasons such as, poverty and other socio-economic conditions of the farmers. As a result, the produce in the watershed is either consumed or finds only a local market for sale. The marketing infrastructure is so poor that the farmer always at a disadvantage. Thus there is need to improve and strengthen the marketing system so that a remunerative price is ensured for the agricultural produce, animal produce, forest produce and produce of other subsidiary income generating activities.

9. The “common watershed guideline”, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. Of India, must be strictly followed at all stages of planning and implementation of watershed development programm9. The “common watershed guideline”, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. Of India, must be strictly followed at all stages of planning and implementation of watershed development programme.

National Seminar - Private Extension

A National seminar on Private Extension was organised at MANAGE, Hyderabad during 28th and 29th July, 2000.The main focus of the seminar was on "Agricultural extension; approaches and challenges in the millennium".

The seminar was organised with the following objectives.

1. To recognise the services provided by private extension practitioners.

2. To understand their approaches and draw lessons for public extension.

3. To workout linkages between private and public extension

4. To visualise the role of Private Extension in the future.

5. To learn from the innovations in private extension.

Over 57 delegates representing 11 states participated in the seminar. the participants represented organizations like ICAR, IRMA SAU's State Governments, Missionaries, NGO's Farmer's Organizations, Farm Journal publishing houses, Agri business companies, Agricultural consultants, Commodity Boards, besides practicing farmers.

There were 5 technical sessions covering the objectives, where 65 research papers were presented.

This seminar provided an academic forum at the national at the national level for the first time to discuss about private extension. It was also a beginning for networking people associated with Private Extension. The Seminar came out with the view that private extension is a active partner, not a rival of public extension. it aims at decreasing the cost and increasing the efficiency of extension services. To benefit the ultimate user farmer, it is necessary for public - private culture partnership in the field.

Dr.P.Chandra Shekara, Deputy Director (Agriculture Extension) MANAGE organised the seminar.

Information on the seminar and abstracts of papers can be accessed at the MANAGE website at www.manageagri.com

 

Symposium on Rainfed Agriculture

A two days symposium on Rainfed Agriculture was organized at MANAGE from June 7 – 9, 2000.  The main theme of the symposium was agricultural extension management in dryland economy.  The theme was divided into three sub themes, namely, Issues related to the ground water and its management; Extension Management – Approaches and Alternatives in dryland farming  and Agricultural legislation support and policy issues.

Prof. M.V.Nadkarni, Vice Chancellor, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, while inaugurating the Symposium delivered the presidential address on  “India’s Rainfed Agriculture as an Eco-system”.  Prof. Nadkarni traced the history of Indian agriculture in general and rainfed agriculture in particular.

The Keynote address was delivered by Dr. H.P.Singh, Director, CRIDA.  In his address Dr.Singh raised some of the important issues relating to rainfed agriculture.  Dr.J.P.Singh, Director (Economics) MANAGE highlighted the importance of rainfed agriculture in  the present day context.  The objective of conducting the symposium on the subject was explained by Dr.K.H.Vedini, Programme Officer, who also coordinated the whole program.

 The technical sessions focused on issues relating to ground water and its management,  “Extension Management – Approaches and Alternatives in dryland farming”, “Agricultural legislation support and policy issues”

On the concluding day  an  intense in house discussion symposium concluded with the following recommendations:-

      Watershed development programmes must be given top priority in all dryland areas in the country

      Besides Management Natural Resources like land and water, other components such as social resource management and livelihood support system must be emphasized in dryland areas

      The farmers in dryland farming are generally resource poor.  Government must make improved and innovative policies in helping farmers through better and easy lending procedures by financial institutions.  Similar innovative and dynamic insurance policy should be framed and implemented to help dryland farmers.

      Crop planning techniques should be followed for judicious use of the water in dryland areas

      People’s participation must be given priority for sustainable development of Watershed Programme in dryland areas.

      Evaluation studies on watershed development programme should be carried out to assess the viability of the programme

      Establishment of Agro-processing units by farmer groups in dryland areas can be organized through the financial and technical assistance from “Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium”.

 

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