These technologies include soil and water conservation measures, integrated farming, diversion based irrigation systems, sustainable agriculture, tree-based farming to name a few.
AFPRO has a long and illustrious experience of working on water resource management. The learning’s from community centric interventions assist the community in identifying and accepting region specific low cost models on efficient water use in agriculture and allied activities. Such models include drip irrigation, gravity flow systems, in-situ soil and moisture conservation, water harvesting measures, system of rice intensification (SRI) and integrated farming systems. Further, AFPRO takes immense interest in capacitating the farming communities for adapting to different water stress conditions under current climate change regimes.
This issue of the newsletter deals with the following –
- Peoples’ Participation in Sustainable Water Resources Management by AFPRO, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - This article deals with AFPRO’s role in the EED, Germany initiated two year programme on “Water and Democracy in South Asia”. The programme was designed to facilitate capacity building, networking, lobbying, advocacy and sharing of experiences. AFPRO with its field unit at Ahmednagar, Maharashtra played a significant role under the component of ‘Participatory People’s Monitoring of Water’ and carried out quantitative monitoring activities. The project objectives were three-fold: (a) to aid proper understanding of local water resource availability by developing a simplified water monitoring tool; (b) to capacitate communities with knowledge, data and skills related to groundwater management; and (c) to involve farmers in collection and utilization of groundwater data by demystifying hydrological science. The primary approach adopted was demand side water management, which focuses on improving water use efficiency.
- Promoting Sustainable Livelihood through Agro-forestry by AFPRO, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh – This article deals with AFPRO’s work on “wadi” in Achampet mandal in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. A thick forest cover and a large tribal population have resulted in large scale deforestation for cultivation, indiscriminate use of natural resources, depletion of groundwater, poverty and socioeconomic imbalance. With its core in tree based farming, special emphasis is laid in the project on suitable soil conservation, water resource development measures and other measures for improving the quality of tribal life such as community health & sanitation, development of women and institutional development.
- Integrated Farming System (IFS) – An Approach to Sustainable Management of Resources by Chandan Kalita, Consultant, AFPRO Task Force, Guwahati - AFPRO is promoting IFS under component 3 of the ICAR’s World Bank supported “National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP)” in 38 villages of Dhemaji district of Assam. The district faces annual flooding and water accumulates at depths of 1 to 5 meters and recedes only after a period of 4-5 months, thus having a severe impact on the lives of the inhabitants. For the rest of the year, a big challenge faced by them is the large sand and silt deposit left behind by the flood, which leaves the land unsuitable for cultivation. Through proper seasonal planning of integrated farming systems and appropriate choice of these combinations, communities were strengthened with greater food security and livelihood sustainability.
- Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Resources in India by Dr. Anish Chatterjee, Principal Research Coordinator, Climate Change & Livelihoods, AFPRO, New Delhi – This discussion deals with how abnormal changes in the climate and resulting increase in frequency and intensity of drought and flood events have long-term implications for the viability of the agro-ecosystems. The article states that water yield (which is a function of precipitation, total surface run off, evapo-transpiration and soil properties) is projected to increase in the Himalayan region in 2030s by 5-20 per cent, however, water yields are likely to be variable across the north eastern region, western ghats and coastal region. In some places in these regions, it is projected to increase and in some places it is projected to decrease. Also, moderate to extreme drought severity is projected in 2030s for the Himalayan region, as compared to the other regions. All the regions are likely to experience flooding which are exceeding existing magnitudes by 10 to 20 per cent.
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