Small and Marginal farmers in chronic drought prone and backward regions will have sustainable livelihoods through diversified agriculture and a protected environment, resulting in a reduced incidence of migration, poverty and suffering.
Ananthapuram District is in the arid agro-ecological zone with a normal rainfall of 540 mm. Being located in the rain shadow region, the district doesn’t fully benefit from either of the monsoons. Rainfall is not only erratic but is also unevenly distributed causing a negative effect on crop productivity. It is estimated that 63 per cent of the total geographical area of the district is covered by sandy loam followed by 14 per cent under rock land and 19 per cent under clay. Larger areas in the district have coarse soil-surface texture which is poor in water and nutrient retention and is highly prone for wind and water erosion. Mostly rainfed farming is prevailing since there are no perennial rivers providing canal irrigation. The vegetative area of the district is about 10.5 percent against the required 34 percent. Recurring droughts and decline in pasture lands have led to dwindling livestock population.
- As part of soil and moisture conservation measures bunding works were taken up covering an extent of 1,12,484 hectares of land up to the end of March 2015.
- 2538 water-bodies water such as check-dams and percolation tanks, have been constructed or renovated so far, out of which 33 were built during the year 2014-15. It is estimated about more than 2.033 million cusecs of water is stored through various water bodies built by the organization.
- Farmers availed 81,00,746 different species of fruit saplings such as Mango, Sapota, Ber, Custard Apple, Allaneredu and Amla covering an extent of 54,005 hectares of land in Ananthapuram district up to the end of March 2015.
- As part of conserving underground water resources and ensuring its optimum and scientific utilization, RDT promoted ‘Modern Micro Irrigation Systems’ namely drip, sprinklers and micro sprinklers. An extent of 17095.04 hectares of land was covered under drip irrigation benefiting 12277 farmers spread across 1650 villages. Similarly 10768 sprinkler irrigation sets and 200 Micro sprinklers were distributed covering an extent of 11310.96 hectares in 805 villages up to the end of March 2015.
- One of the initiatives of the organization is the introduction of solar irrigation for tapping underground water resources. A total of 405 solar units were installed and commissioned covering an extent of 1804.76 hectares of land belonging to 1008 farmers in 253 Villages up to the end of March 2015.
- As many as 4429 biogas units were setup in collaboration with NEDCAP as part of promoting the non-conventional energy resources.
- Women accessed 6323 improved varieties of Milch Cattle (Cross-bred Jersey Cows/Graded Murrah Buffaloes) as part of asset creation and sustainable income to families under ecological interventions.