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    Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems Project
  APFAMGS Project :  


The impact of 4 years of implementation of APFAMFS project at the field level is revealing. Behavioural change has led to empowerment and enhanced confidence level for taking knowledgeable decisions.

Integrated scientific technology with social transformation and general change issues (non technology)

Change in perception of groundwater as private property to that of a “common good ( individual farmers take decisions for collective good)

Farmers have internalized all learning's to apply in decision making

Risks associated with crop failures have been fully eliminated.

Stakeholders have brought into operation new groundwater governance that transgresses beyond individual holdings and habitations, without being coercive.




Structure of the project

Project ActivitiesGlobal Relevance of APFAMGS Project Project USPPeople's InstitutionsGender ManistreamingEnhancing Farmers KnowladgeParticipatory Hydrological Monitoring (PHM) Farmers Water Schools Crop Water BudgetingReduction in Groundwater Pumping Abstaining from PaddyCrop DiversificationUse of Water Saving DevicesFood Security and NutritionEmergence of Local Groundwater GovernanceCreation of Trained Manpower Optimization of Food Flows Through Artificial groundwater Recharge (AGR)Geographic Information System (GIS)Data Base (HRIS+)Information KioskAPFAMGS websiteImpact of Project Implementation Benefits of adopting Crop Change Farmer's Reflections

Future Work Plan


The invisibility of the groundwater resource has not deterred farmers from having full access to understanding the water resource availability and dynamics.
The ability of the stakeholders to articulate and share the information across the hydrological unit has helped evolve common strategies for limiting the damage while at the same time safeguarding individual interest.

Increased profits from diversified cropping

Farmers ownership of technical data and information

Change in cropping pattern from water intensive to water efficient crops

Reduced migration

Opportunities for emerging leadership among women

Government agencies, Funding agencies acknowledge the project impact and new proposals incorporate the project concept.
Based on the opportunities provided, the farmers have taken collective action to reduce groundwater use. Number of changes that have been witnessed include:

Benefits of adopting Crop Changes Farmer's Reflections

Narasimha Reddy, GMC member, from Kethagudi village of Prakasam District knows that the groundwater pumping in the Yadavagu Hydrological Unit is far more than that is being replenished by rainfall recharge. He also is clear that this is the time to act or else in a few years all borewells shall go dry and the future generation will curse them. So the GMC's in the HU have decided not to grow crops that require much water. The members also understand that maximum lowering of water levels take place in the month of month of April and May and so they have decided to take up crops that can be harvested before beginning of April. All the members have decided to stop operating borewells for 2 to 3 months between April to June every year.

P. Laxman Swamy from Mukundapuram of Allagadda Mandal.
GMC member from Thundlavagu Hydrological Unit: says by measuring water levels, discharge from borewells and calculation of annual water balance we have gained good understanding on the water resource availability and crop water requirements. I have now calculated that I have to make available 12 million liters of water per acre to raise one acre of paddy while I need to pump only 3 million liters of water for raising one acre of green gram. This understanding along with knowledge on water balance in the HU has helped me to plan my cropping system. We also now understand that on Bengal gram and Green gram seeds there are a subsidy offered by government which never reached us. Now the Agriculture Officers also find easier to interact with us and inform of all the schemes of the government.

GVS G. SRINIVASULA REDDY, Secretary of HUN Committee of GVS APFAGMS Project. Before the project came, we did not have any idea about ground water levels. So we used to pump ground water indiscriminately. We used to cultivate more land than was possible and so we incurred heavy losses. Now we have observation bore wells to estimate the available volume of water. So we can plan our crops. There are changes in farming methods. There is awareness of chemical fertilizers. We used to spray any chemicals suggested by the shop-keeper. But now we know the names of the chemicals. We even prepare our own organic fertilizers solutions and pesticides.

The project is mainly for the farmers. It is about groundwater management. We have to save groundwater now; otherwise there will be no water in future. Crop water Budgeting is conducted in HUN Committee level. We first collect information regarding areas and crops under bore wells. All GMCs collect this information; then we calculate how much water is being used for which crops. Using discharge levels we estimate the available ground water whether it is in surplus or in deficit. Then we will decide as to how much land should be cultivated in the future. For example, the groundwater of our HUN area is in deficit, because sugar cane was grown in large areas. We discussed this matter in GMC and decided to change the crop.

We try to convince such farmers saying that if we don't save water now, we may not have water even for drinking. GMC committee is in charge of these stations. For example there is a rain gauge station in the neighboring village. The person in charge of the station is taking good care of it. At present the GMCs are quite strong. We are able to conduct GMC meetings even if the project staff is absent. But the HUN Committees should be strengthened more. We are preparing to conduct HUN meetings and Crop water Budgeting Workshops.

For example, there is sugar cane crop which is cultivated in large areas. It needs lot of water. We will have to reduce sugar cane and grow crops like tomato, mulberry so that we can make up the deficit in ground water. Yes we could desilt our irrigation tank and the tank bed soil was spread in our fields. We applied for loans at the Banks for purchasing drips and sprinklers but there was delay in file moment. When the District Collector attended gramasabha in our village, GMC brought the matters to his notice and we could get the drips and sprinklers within two days. An institute from Banglore called GKVK Krishividya Kendra, conducted training programme on tomato crop under participated technology development. GMC was responsible for this. Savings groups like velugu, dwakra don't talk about water. We talk about water but are not able to create any assets. So we also started saving money. Now our GMC is having Rs. 14,000/- We bought 5 amp sprayers which we rent out to farmers.

We are able to take up such activities through our GMC. We conduct Farmers Field School also. For example there is tomato crop, we studied pests that affect tomato crop, and we learnt water saving methods like sprinklers and drip irrigation. All cannot afford to use drip irrigation. It costs Rs. 20,000/- for one acre. Mulching method is cheaper. We now learn these farming methods in Farmer's Field School.

Facilitate Hydrological Unit Networks (HUN) to emerge as pressure groups to influence government and community based organizations on Demand Side groundwater Management

Enable Hydrological Unit Networks (HUN) to establish marketing co-operatives for bargaining fair prices, to market organic produce and to source all inputs at reasonable cost.

Work towards reducing the water deficits through improved Water Use Efficiency.

Enable improved recharge and optimize flood flows

Integrate rainfed agriculture areas along with Irrigated agriculture

Work towards improved Agricultural biodiversity, dietary diversity and ensure food security

Sensitize farmers on the risks of HIV/AIDS in farming sector

Establish new models of groundwater governance leading to establishment of water republics.

Disseminate the project learning's to the neighbouring areas for ensuring district level coverage.

Establish working relationship with government departments (Gram Panchayat, District Water Management Agency, State Groundwater Department) for disseminating project learnings.

Establish Jala Jana Vedika (JJV), a watchdog group for ensuring investments in water sector are judicious, are farmer friendly (rather than favouring contractors), ensure efficient use of available resources and does not promote over-exploitation.

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