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Andhra Pradesh - Case Studies
 
Title Issue
Milk Flows Agro-Based Livelihoods
Restoring the water of life Agro-Based Livelihoods
The Miracles of Compost Agro-Based Livelihoods
Woman power Water Resource Management
 
 
Milk Flows

In Nadikudi village, Andhra Pradesh, Kandula Savitramma owned two buffaloes. She would sell the 5 liters of milk they would produce, to the local dairy, and make a living. But although Kandula was sure the buffaloes could produce more, which in-turn would increase her earning, she didn’t quite know how. So she turned to the ACF team and they helped her with her query. They provided her with supplementary feed for her buffaloes, and asked her to maintain a detailed account of the daily milk produce.

In the short span of 10 days Kandula noticed that the produce had doubled! She continued with the supplementary feed and now enjoys the benefits of a higher milk yield.

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Restoring the water of life

This small village in Guntur has about 170 families. Due to the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, the ground water in the area has become contaminated. Consumption of this water resulted in several health problems such as headaches, body aches, muscles pains and the like.

Korlakunta Ramalingamma was a farmer from the village who suffered from such symptoms. She visited many doctors to find a cure but was informed that the water which she was consuming was to blame. Left with no alternative she began buying water from water tankers. It was an expensive proposition but it eased her physical discomfort. When the reverse osmosis treatment plant was set up by ACF in association with the Naadi foundation, Korlakunta was delighted. Not only was she able to get pure water in her village but she was also able to buy it at a much lower rate. Consumption of clean water has reduced her physical pains greatly. "I am getting good quality water at a low price because of the treatment plant. Each day my physical health is improving and it isn't even causing any great financial strain on my family." says Korlajunta with obvious relief.

Like Korlakunta, many others have benefitted from the reverse osmosis plant. People from other neighbouring villages like Gurazal, Kotha Ambapuram are now making requests for this facility. Restoring the water of life is becoming an urgent concern in many parts of the country.

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The Miracles of Compost

Vorra Nagi Reddy, a farmer from Nadikudi village, Andhra Pradesh, grew chillies on a two acre plot. He learnt about
vermi-composting through a training programme for farmers held in the area by ACF, then decided to put his new-found knowledge to use by setting up his own pit. In 40 days it was ready, and other farmers began asking him to sell his produce to them, so he did, though that wasn’t the reason why he set up the pit.

Soon, as word spread to neighbouring villages, more and more farmers began buying compost from him, and he was earning a tidy income from his pit. He also tried the compost on his own fields, on the advice of ACF, and soon saw the impact it had.

Ever since then, Reddy has continued producing and selling compost, and using it on his farm. It is true. ‘Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.’

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Woman power
It all began as a small discussion in one of their Self-help Group (SHG) meetings. The women of Gogulpaddu village in Andhra Pradesh were concerned about the drinking water problem they were facing. Due to the excessive use of pesticides , the ground water in the villages of Nadikudi have become contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Villagers having no other source of water were forced to drink this water and frequently faced health problems.

The SHG leant that a permanent solution of this water crisis was to set up a common Reverse Osmosis(RO) plant for the entire village. The common plant would keep the cost of drinking water low and make potable water available to everyone. The men in the village has previously attempted setting up a RO plant but hadnít been able to effectively work together and generate the community contribution for it. Women decided to take the lead this time.

Besides providing all the technical information and advice, ACF organised a visit for the women to see a functional RO plant in a near by village. The women were completely convinced about the value of the RO plant and set about having the same installed in their village. But soon they were faced with a real challenge. They needed to raise funds for purchasing the technology and for meeting the recurring costs. Where would a colossal sum of Rs.4.5 lakh come from? Thanks to the exposure of these women to handling financed of their SHGs, they immediately thought of an equity based model since their savings werenít enough. They started an intensive awareness cum motivation camping in the village and more funds came in. Despite that, there was a financial deficit and it looked like the lack of funds would delay the project once again. Just then, as an example of collective action, a farmerís group- Sri Neelakanteshwara Organic Farmers Group offered a loan to the women for the balance amount. The farmerís group would return the money as soon as they could raise it from the villagers.

With the funds in place and ACFís technical inputs, nothing could stop the RO plant from coming up at Gogulpadu. Water woes are soon to be a part of Gogulpaduís history.
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