Optimal Utilization of Command Area through Diversified Integrated Farming System (DIFS) – Advanced Micro Watershed Management with Local Initiatives
(MWS Phase 2 project)
What is Micro-Watershed Management? – The Previous Project
When it rains, the rainwater accumulates along the slope of the mountain, become streams, ponds, and lakes, and flow out into a larger river. An area from ridge (drainage divide) to edge (outlet; e.g. a river’s flowing out) which one community can manage is called a micro-watershed. During the previous project, Mura no Mirai facilitated local people’s work, to recover the surface soil on the hill slopes, and to increase the water availability by units of different watershed areas. Each facilitation has made some progress: water level of reservoir became higher so that some village started fish farming; gully plugging (or check-wall) successfully checked soil from flowing; the trees planted during the project has grown a lot. Moreover, Community Based Organisation at each hamlet was established by villagers and functioned as monitoring and maintenance even after the project ended. (More details in MWS Project phase 1).
Why is MWS Phase 2 needed?
During the previous project, the villagers acquired basic knowledge and skills of utilizing and managing local resources. After series of training, the villagers also started operating community-based activities. However, although the outcomes are encouraging, more effort is needed to realize villagers’ wish of continuing living and farming in their own homeland generationally. In addition to water managing and organization operating skills, it is also necessary for the villagers to enhance their knowledge of sustainable agriculture, which means to effectively utilize agricultural resources by circulating all the available resources in the watershed. We call it DIFS (Diversified Integrated Farming System) during the Project.
Furthermore, in order to manage natural resources of the whole watershed area, the participation of neighbouring villages is indispensable. Therefore, it is also needed to impart the concept and techniques of watershed management to a broader population.
Who We Serve?
Like MWS Phase 1, the MWS Phase 2 Project also locates in Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Based on the former enrollments, the Phase 2 Project expanded its coverage and covers 108 families from two tribal communities: Maley Savara and Kapu Savara. Those families mainly live in nine hamlets that locate in three micro watershed areas:
– Kerashingi watershed (Pogadavalli, Egwa Anantagiri, Degwa Anantagiri)
– Maha Lakshmilpuram watershed (Godiyapadu, Poolakonda, Kottaguda, Manmanguda)
– Gottupalli watershed (Bhutalaguda, Baladaguda, Pandramanuguda).
(the green-labeled villages joined since 2007 (phase 1) and yellow-labeled villages joined since phase 2)
Process (Key Activity)
|September 2011||The Launch of MWS Phase 2 Project|
|The project participants reviewed the previous achievement and improved the monitoring format based on the monitoring results which was done for last one year. Based on the follow-up results and analysis, participants built new structures to conserve water and soil effectively.|
|April 2012||The research of current situation|
|The participants did several pieces of research, including the usage of agriculture calendar of different farmland basis, available water source map, and ranking for most applicable forage. Especially they reflected and analysed the varieties of crops at each farmland, investment (items and money), yield, income etc. to think for what purpose they are doing farming. The series of training continues for next 5 to 6 months.|
|June 2012||Starting involvement of adjacent hamlets|
|From July to September, the trainers, who stood as voluntarily from among villagers participating MWS phase 1, invited villagers of adjacent hamlets to show the outcome and share the activities from 2007 to 2010. Some villagers got interested in to work out for soil and water conservation, but trainers told them to attend series of trainings before structures installation.|
|July 2012||Exposure Trip: Visit to West Bengal to learn modern agriculture and Experiment of new method of Rice cultivation|
|The participants received training from organic agriculture expert Mr. Chatterjee, visited and learned experience from Purulia village, West Bengal.
At the same time 5 villagers started to practice the “System of Rice Intensification (SRI)” at the paddy fields that belongs to SOMNEED training center. They regularly check the growth of paddy till harvest season in November.
|October 2012||Trainings of Trainers Started|
|12 Trainers started to attend the series of TOT and selected nine villages which they decided to promote micro-watershed management in.|
|January 2013||Training about Diversified Integrated Farming System (DIFS)|
|Based on the reflection and analysis of conventional farming system, about 20 farmers at 3 hamlets came forward to try DIFS individually. They registered their responsible farmland as Model Plot (farmland) and made Action Plan or Cultivation Plan, and each Model Plot was managed with a standardized file, including monitoring sheet, the segmentation of plants, the action plan, the soil consolidating work, etc.|
|February 2013||The Training Debut of Trainers|
|The trainers who gained the point of Meta-Facilitation conducted the first topic about what watershed means to the newly joined villagers. The series of trainings were carried out routinely during the whole project.|
|April 2013||Trainings about DIFS– First Implementation|
|All the participated farmers completed the action plan for his or her own Model Plot. Based on it, each of them started the farming of this year.|
|June 2013||Trainings about DIFS – Monitoring and Filtering the newly participated villages|
|DIFS was carried out at Paddy field, Dry land, Kitchen Garden and Mountain Slope. At each farmland all DIFS participants record the activities, investment and yield. SOMNEED monitored the progress which was shared among all participants to improve more.
Trainers continued to give trainings to newly participated villages, and finally 6 hamlets remained to continue to attend necessary trainings.
|November 2013||Exposure Trip; Visit Kazhi Kadaimadai Farmers Federation in Tamil Nadu– learning famers’ capital operation and management|
|Participants observed the Integrated Farming System which circulates and uses the natural and living resources in one farmland.|
|December 2013||Concept of Grand Design|
|Based on the implementation result since 2009, the villagers figure out the vision of Grand Design for the future years|
|February 2014||Trainings about DIFS – Feedback and Reflection|
|The first batch of practice DIFS Model Plot is harvested. It was found out that he size and color of crops and quantity per area are better than non-DIFS farmland. Villagers consolidated the points to be improved in next year and modify the function of CBO (Watershed Management Committee) by adding the role as body to sell such crops collectively at higher rate to middlemen.|
|March 2014||Action Plan by Newly Participated Villagers|
|Villagers of 6 hamlets reached to the step of Action Plan Making followed by understanding of current situation and problem analysis. Trainers repeated the difference of Plan and Action Plan to villagers and made them enable to calculate budget for 1 year activity.|
|April 2014||Trainings about DIFS– New-year Model Plots|
|New challengers of DIFS were selected and made Action Plan for his/her own Model Plot.|
|June 2014||Establishment of Seed Bank|
|To avoid the usage of GM (genetically modified) seeds villagers set up Seed Bank by collection of seeds in the village and provide to farmers.|
|September 2014||Trainings by VVK|
|Grand Design was brushed up with details according to the vision, which consists of “watershed management” “agriculture (DIFS)” and “seed bank”. It was required to gain the knowledge and skill for how to rotate the internal fund, therefore, VVK (Visakha Vanita Kranti) formed during PCUR-LINK was invited to conduct trainings to Watershed Management Committee.
The trainings to complete the Grand Design with Action Plan continued for next about 6 months.
|Implementation of Action Plan by newly participated villagers|
|Villagers started the work based on Action Plan such as renovation of irrigation facilities, set-up contour bund and check-wall and plantation mainly.
They also started to collect money from villagers to make common fund for future maintenance. Trainers started to provide trainings on management of committee and common fund.
|February 2015||Completion of Grand Design|
|By continuous trainings to make vision clearer as a whole village and individual life, Bhutalaguda hamlet completed the Grand Design targeted year of 2020 in order that Bhutalaguda become such a village where all villagers can live on agriculture with safer method for both nature and human body. To realise it by 2020, villagers made Action Plan at each year.
The Bhutalaguda watershed management committee started the issuing loan for agriculture as the internal fund rotation.
|May 2015||Design of Plantation by newly participated villagers|
|To make plantation activity more successful villagers designed the plantation plot carefully with help of trainers|
|August 2015||Presentation of Outcome of Micro Watershed Management Activity|
|As project was closed all hamlets which joined their hand together into phase 1 and phase 2 assembled together to share their experience and outcome. Bhutala guda played drama how they changed in their idea and behavior since 2007.|
|“Integrated Manual of Watershed Management” Published|
|Based on the experiment and experience from 2007 to 2015, the integrated manual for natural resource management and DIFS was issued in Telugu (local language) and English.
Also, VCD of DIFS manual was also published.
Activities and Achievements
- Mura no Mirai (formerly as SOMNEED) and SOMNEED India (hereafter SOMNEED combining two organization) enhanced the ability of two tribal hamlets (Bhutalaguda and Pogadavalli) that belonging to two micro watersheds, enabling the villagers to practice resource-efficient agriculture (DIFS) through the year. The details include organic farming (liquid fertilizer, organic pesticide, worm compost, etc.), soil-moisture conservation techniques, and budget calculation. Farmers of the two hamlets broadened the yield, increased variety of crops, and also improve the crops’ quality, leading to the rise in sale prices.
- Each of the five hamlets that participated since Phase II established the community-based organization named Watershed Management Committee and made its own bylaws in their tribal language by themselves, for further activities and structures’ maintenance. In addition, some of the above CBOs also implemented micro credit activities.
- One hamlet that participated both Phase I and Phase II of the project (Bhutalaguda) made and visualized their Grand Design, which showed the blueprint towards the village’s vision of 2020. The Grand Design consists of both the vision of the village as a whole and vision of individual, related to the micro-watershed management.
- 18 trainers graduated from project trainings and acquired facilitation skill to impart watershed management concept to other villagers, and several farmers became expert of SRI and organic farming – worm compost, liquid fertilizer, organic pesticide, etc.
- Project supported several treatments in program’s three micro watershed areas, including stone bunds (contour bunds), gully plugging (check-wall), and plantation to prevent soil erosion, improving the volume and quality of soil and recharge ground water.
- Project published a book called Integrated Manual of Micro Watershed Management as a documentary of the 7-year-project. The content focuses on the practices and experiences of villagers to conserve soil and water, and as well as to effectively utilize resources for sustainable and independent agriculture. Moreover, villagers also made visual materials to introduce DIFS skills and their practical experience.
- Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Partnership Program
JPP is one of the technical cooperation program schemes under Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA). The program is formulated by Japanese NGO and implemented with the collaboration with local NGOs. (URL:https:// www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/types_of_assistance/citizen/partner.html)
After the project is over, Mura no Mirai maintains a semi-annual inspection of those Micro-Watershed villages, providing some advice and assistance to villagers on community-based-organization operations and watershed management issues when request comes. The model plot farmers continued implementing DIFS method. In addition, more and more villagers became aware of the advantages of DIFS and began to adopt this farming model. Also, Action Plan for achieving Grand Design Vision 2020 is implemented.