Impact report of watershed development programme in Ayyannapalem village of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh

We are very glad to bring to the notice of the Watershed Development Fund (WDF) that the Ayyannapalem watershed Capacity Building Phase (CBP) activities are successfully implemented and it has reached the stage of Feasibility Study Report (FSR) proposal. According to the field conditions, the Ayyannapalem watershed is highly suitable for watershed implementation and there are deep gullies and high level hillocks that exist in the villages. Farmers' co-operation is also very encouraging and we could complete the watershed activities within the specified period.

Author : Kotikala Chandrasheakar

Name of the watershed: Ayyannapalem
Name of the Mandal: Bollapalli
District: Guntur

After our regular community meetings and mobilization activities, the farmers are having a good understanding about the watershed activities and it is benefits in soil conservation, water harvesting and green canopy development in the project villages. The NABARD AGM, Guntur has given his valuable suggestions and good co-operation in the implementation of the watershed activities. The EFFORT- RSO has extended required technical and physical support in this watershed and we have, finally, reached to FSR stage.

After the implementation of the the CBP works and looking at the results in first phase activities, farmer co-operation has improved a lot. Most of the area treatment and drainage treatment works were completed in a short period. Now most of the farmers are coming forward to implement the watershed activities in their lands and they are requesting us to initiate the watershed activities in the balance 90% of the watershed area.

Area treatment activities

The area treatment activities like new farm bunding, pebble bunding, stone checks, farm ponds, CCT, TCB, WAT, bund and black plantations have been completed successfully. These activities have helped the farmers in controlling soil erosion and enhancing the moisture holding capacity in the agriculture lands. The water percolation capacity is improved and the water table has increased in CBP areas. The water yielding capacity of bores have also increased.

These activities are regularly observed by the farmers in the field to see how it is helping in moisture holding and enhanced production. In ridge point there is hill and most of the hill water comes across to the cultivable lands. In this area we have done the CCT and WAT works. These stop the water run-off from hill and the water is able to percolate in to ground. The hill attached lands are having adequate moisture holding and the crops are healthy. Some of the barren lands have been brought into cultivation and small and marginal farmers benefit from the project. Because of the watershed activities, and fortunately there have been a good amount of rains this year, recharge of ground water is enabled and bore wells are yielding good water in the CBP area.

Drainage treatment activities

In the 10% of CBP area, as per the CBP plan, we did a lot of drainage treatment activities like constructing sunken ponds (SP), farm ponds (FP), SGP, RFDs and other related activities in the field. These works are capable of holding a lot of water in the field and it is resulting it considerable recharge of ground water in their bore wells and as well as open wells.

Before construction of these structures most of the water use to go to for a waste into big streams. Now all the water is stored in the farmers' fields. When we visited the watershed area we met some of the farmers and interacted with them about our works. These farmers are really very happy about storing the water in FP, SP and the same water is being used for transplantation of chilly nursery, tobacco nursery and other crops.

The drainage treatment and area treatment is helping around 32 bore wells in the recharge the groundwater.

Add- on activities in the watershed area

  • Distribution of the Tyvan sprayers

The farmers are cultivating chilly crops, cotton, red gram, vegetables, paddy and other commercial crops and some food crops in this village. In the modern days it is most essential for regular spray of pesticide and insecticide on the crops. Due to lack of non availability of the spray pumps the farmers are facing lot of problems in pest and disease control.

According to the CBP action plan we have planned to purchase the tyvan sprayres on loan with the watershed funds. All the sprayres will be purchased during in the month of September and October 2010.

  • Perennial fodder grass

All most all these farmers are cultivating the commercial crops like, cotton, chilly, red gram, tobacco, and other crops which do not give the fodder for their animals. During this year most of the farmers purchased fodder grass for the animals. Each farmer has spent around Rs. 8000/ an average during this year. In these circumstances to avoid purchasing of the fodder grass for their cattle and to improve milk yield in the village, the farmers have proposed the fodder development activities in the CBP action plan.

Accordingly we have facilitated the VWDC members and farmers and procured the perennial fodder grass slips and it is transplanted in the Ayyannapalem village. This grass slips is germinating and we need to wait to see the good fodder in this village.

  • Farmer’s mobilization activities in the village

Initially the farmer’s participation was very less, due to less awareness on the watershed activities and it is long terms benefits. In the CBP planning some farmers participated well. But most of the farmers are not responding properly.

But after implementation of the watershed activities in the field and conducting, regular meetings, exhibiting the social audit boards, transparency in financial management, making payments in the meetings have helped in increasing the farmer participation. Now most of the farmers are co-operating very well in better implementation of the watershed activities in this village and regularly attending gramasabha and executive committee and general body meetings in the watershed village to discuss watershed related activities in the project.

Learnings

During in the CBP activities implementation we have learnt a lot in the field as well as with the community and CBP farmers.

  • While execution of the physical works we must keep in view that, we should complete the work structure wise and pay the entire amounts, so that there will not be any confusion. 
  • In case if we are making part payments for on going works, it will lead to confusion in record keeping and report preparation for the next installment budget plan in the future.
  • While execution of the physical works, the PFA staff should supervise the works closely, so that quality of the works can be maintained and the farmer will be benefitted directly and the objective will be achieved.

All the experiences we will help us in the future for farmer mobilization, FIP planning and successful implementation of the FIP watershed activities.

In case there are any suggestions from RSO and NABARD-RO, we will follow the same in the future.

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