U.S. varsity students’ study on Mission Kakatiya vies for NatGeo award


Study conducted in Chandaram of Mancherial district and Golivada in Peddapalli district

A study being conducted by a team of students and teachers of the University of Michigan on the impact of Mission Kakatiya, taken up by the Telangana government for revival of minor irrigation tanks, has been short-listed among 45 others vying for the National Geographic Chasing Genius People’s Choice Award.

The team has been engaged in assessing the potential carbon impact of the programme for over two years now, with an idea to empower small farmers in developing countries to grow more with better information, as part of their ongoing study. The study has been picked up by NatGeo from over 3,000 applications for the award. As part of their pilot study in Chandaram of Mancherial district and Golivada in Peddapalli district and a preliminary study in several other villages, the research team has found that more than 97% of farmers have never done the soil test of their fields. It was also noticed that the productivity of crops, particularly that of cotton, varied by more than 500% within and across the villages.

Stating that climate change, increased frequency of droughts and lack of access to irrigation resources were contributing to low yield, particularly cotton, and compounding farmers’ problems leading to suicides, Adithya Dahagama, a member of the UoM research team, said proper information flow coupled with improved farming techniques could help them overcome the crisis to a large extent.

“Our team started exploring opportunities to increase crop productivity and reduce the risk of small farmers by providing better information to support farmer decisions, including the positive impacts of Mission Kakatiya. We have worked with more than 3,500 farmers from 54 villages in Peddapalli district so far and were able to collect soil samples from 2,200 of them and get them tested with the support of the Regional Soil Testing Lab of the Agriculture Department,” Mr. Adithya explained.

He said their’s was the only project short-listed for the award from India and people could support their team by voting at www.natgeochasinggenius. com/video/1211.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:04:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/us-varsity-students-study-on-mission-kakatiya-vies-for-natgeo-award/article19694037.ece

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