Andhra Pradesh

Farmers to help conserve groundwater in Vizianagaram

More crop per drop: Groundwater officials releasing a brochure during an awareness programme at Budatanapalli in Vizianagaram district on Thursday.  

The Groundwater Department is planning to form groundwater users’ associations involving farmers to protect small water bodies and enhance water use efficiency in the agriculture sector in Vizianagaram district, its Deputy Director K.S. Shastry has said.

The department is laying focus on promotion of ‘More crop per drop’ concept which aims at improving small-scale community based irrigation for tapping the underused potential of tank irrigation system. In sync with the Central government’s policy, the concept also encourages farmers to use water conservation technologies as part of the Andhra Pradesh Integrated Irrigation and Agriculture Transformation Project (APIIATP) project, Mr. Shastry said during a farmers’ awareness programme at Budatanapalli in Gantyada mandal on Thursday.

“The concept will be a reality in Vizianagaram when farmers will be able to concentrate on optimum utilisation of groundwater and tank based irrigation system,” he said.

Citing the example of Israel, Mr. Shastry said such intervention has brought big success in the farm sector, despite scanty rainfall. “Proper maintenance of old tanks can assure farmers of irrigation water with the continuous recharge of groundwater, a common resource for all. We are planning to form groundwater users’ associations so that all would reap the benefits with various schemes including the recently launched Jalakala programme,” said Mr. Shastry.

Tank irrigation

Groundwater Department Assistant Director urged the residents to protect the old tanks such as Padmanabharaju tank, saying that it could assure irrigation for three crops in a year. Horticulture Assistant Director Vijayalakshmi urged the farmers to adopt the latest technology and water management techniques to generate more income.

Speaking on the occasion, Integrated Rural People Welfare Association (IRPWA) Director P.K. Prakasha Rao said farmers mostly depend on groundwater with limited irrigation sources from the rivers. There are 39,605 borewells which ensures irrigation facility to 99,015 acres.

Describing the APIIATP scheme as a boon to farmers, Mr. Prakash Rao urged farmers to protect the old tanks and watershed projects, saying that it would immensely augment the groundwater.

Encroachment issues

AIIATP project managers B.Veera Swamy, S. Ramarao, P. Satyanarayana clarified doubts of farmers. Some farmers expressed concern over the encroachment of tanks in their villages. The officials suggested them to bring the issues to the notice of the revenue and irrigation officials.

Resource person A. Devudu, District Agriculture Committee member A. Devudu, IRPWA member Sridhar and others were present in the meeting.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:20:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farmers-to-help-conserve-groundwater-in-vizianagaram/article33033585.ece

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