This project integrates environmental and social aspects to facilitate sustainable livelihoods for tribal families. It involves creation of orchards (Wadi) on degraded lands, with drought tolerant species of mango and amla. The plants were intercropped with vegetables, fodder crops and medicinal plants. Alongside this process, activities are also being implemented to address issues of health, water supply, hygiene and sanitation in the same community.
These activities were implemented on 1,000 acres belonging to 1,000 families in 35 habitations. Permaculture principles in were adopted in the development of the wadis for e.g. mulching, companion planting, green leaf manure plants, inter-cultivation with diversified cropping systems and efficient watering techniques.
PROJECT IN BRIEF:
Project Name: Tribal Development Fund (TDF)
Project Duration: 2008 to 2014/15 (114 months)
Project Implementation Agency: Aranya Agricultural Alternatives (AAA) – NGO
Project Funding Agency: NABARD
Project Budget: 357 lakh
Project Beneficiary Coverage: 4mandals (Neredugonda, Kadam, Mamada khanapoor); 1230 acres/Tribal hamlets; Adilabad District
Project Wadi acerage Output: 319 acres (10455 Mango trees, 2336 Amla trees)
The Tribal Development fund Project is a unique welfare project which integrates both environmental and social aspects with an objective of provision of sustainable livelihood for the tribal communities.
It is conceptualized, funded and supported by NABARD for the development of 1000 acres of horticulture plantations. Aranya as an Environmental & Developmental organization (NGO) in Andhra Pradesh was sanctioned this project in 2008 under which each participant tribal family is supported by an acre of fruit plantation (drought tolerant species of Mango and Amla).
The core of the program is development of orchard (locally known as WADI) in the degraded lands of tribal regions. The program also includes activities of women empowerment, community health, drinking water supply, hygiene, sanitation and capacity building. The inter cultivation of useful vegetables, fodder, and other herbal medicines is also undertaken. (“Wadi” model and “beyond Wadi approaches”).
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION DETAILS:
Under the TDF project, Aranya has till day undertaken horticulture plantations in 1230 acres/tribal habitats/tribal families since 2008, the sustained acerage being 319 acres. Each family or habitat selected is supported with horticultural development of 40 Mango and 40 Amla plants, live hedge and inter cultivation in one acre, also water resource, input and maintenance support.
The flowing activities are involved in the implementation of the project;
- Identification of Tribal farmers/ lands
- Formation of WADI group
- Awareness generation on WADI farming methods
- Training and exposure of new farmers to Wadi farms
- Training on Plantation techniques
- Marking for Pit digging
- Plantation of Mango, Amla and Live hedge
- Stalking, Mulching ,Inter-cultivation
- Planning for the Water Resources
- Plant Protection &Maintenance measures
- Water Resource Development
- Soil Moisture Conservation activities
- Natural Resource Management
Beyond Wadi Approaches:
- Women Empowerment Activities
- Community Health Programmes
- Potable/Drinking water supply
- Hygiene and sanitation
- Capacity building activities
- Inter cropping – Vegetables, Fodder and Medicinal plants
1.Wadi Groups formation
4.Other Plant Activities: Stalking; Mulching; Inter-cultivation
5.Training & Capacity building
6.Water Resource Development
(Planning & Provision of water resource; Irrigation Infrastructure support)
BEYOND WADI APPROACHES
4.Smoke less Chulas
5.Vegetable kitchen gardens
OVERALL PROJECT STATUS:
- The 1230 acres plantations including the replaced plantation (100+380+356+226+168) is the coverage activity in totality from 2008 to 2012-13; the total being 1230 acres of which the drop outs are 911 acres, the existing wadi trees acerage being only 319 acres presently (i.e. 31.9%); Among the existing acreage the tree survival rate per acre is only 50 %.
- The dropout rate is as high as 68.1%, the reasons for plantation failure/replacement being multifaceted; the prominent factors of which to be considered include lack of maintenance and care post drought in 2009, farmer negligence & priority to annual crops, ground water depletion due to sheet rock existence, extreme water resource development complications, also migration, economic status fallouts, family reasons, and cultural gaps and impacts, Also the project coverage area being vast with scattered tribal hamlet locations and human resource constraint given the area remoteness also affected the overall project implementation.
- The number of Wadi tree output is 10455 mango plants and 2336 Amla plants in project area.
- The number of wells dug is 51, motors provided 25, Pipes provided 82 and Oil engines provided are 16 in number.
Community Development; Sustainable Agricultural Livelihoods
(The focus is on Permacultural Practices the core philosophy of Aranya Agricultural alternatives)
OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME:
Aranya has till day undertaken horticulture plantations in 1230 acres/tribal habitats/tribal families since 2008 till day and the efforts have born fruits amidst extreme constraints sustaining a wadi acerage of 319 acres. The ‘wadi and beyond wadi ‘overall outcomes are as mentioned below;
- Initiation of Green development through wadi orchards establishment
- Promotion of Soil and moisture conservation practices
- Promotion of Permacultural/Organic practices ,Vermicomposting, composting and others thus conserving soil fertility
- Promotion of Intercultivation, mixed cropping practices( Food and Nutritional security issues addressed )
- Improved agricultural crop management practices and protection measures promoted resulting in improved crop yield
- Water resources creation for majority of wadi farmers
- Self employment enhancement relatively
- Promotion of integrated Livestock based livelihoods
Ray of hope – (Positive Outcome)
Villages such as Pathasinagapoor, Lakshmipoor, Adivisarangapoor, Gurram mother, Nagapoor and Morripeta are the prime examples in where survival rates of the plants is up to 80% which are a ray of hope to be considered given the extreme tribal remoteness factors during project implementation phases .
In this region’s the community participation and farmers involvement is also good with 80% dedicated farmers sustaining the Wadi project .
In Nagapoor, Adivisarangapoor and Pathasingapoor villages Wadi farmers harvested the mango crop. The plants which survived in the first year have given good yields.
If the overall limitations of the project be reconsidered and reanalyzed pragmatically and viable field level solutions on a community scale be devised and deployed through the local organizational means, there is considerable scope that the desired benefits reach the targeted tribal community in totality