Mango farmers show the way to fight drought
Aravavandlapalli, a tiny nondescript village in the drought-prone Rompicharla mandal of Chittoor district, has scripted a success story in rainwater harvesting which caught the attention of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Tirupati: Aravavandlapalli, a tiny nondescript village in the drought-prone Rompicharla mandal of Chittoor district, has scripted a success story in rainwater harvesting which caught the attention of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Naidu is scheduled to take his time off from the busy schedule during his two-day visit in the district to witness the humble experiment of a small group of 50 mango growers at the village on Saturday.
The farmers with a rustic rural background collected every drop of rainwater and preserved the precious liquid in a huge pond during the rainy season. Their water conservation efforts showed up a magical effect on their plantations during the summer.
The 50-odd mango growers to dig a huge pond in a common site of three acres for storage of rainwater and demonstrated an indomitable spirit to let their crops survive in the drought conditions when rains played truant.
This saga of grit and resolve of the farmers obviously let the CM feel compelled to see for himself the water conservation mission getting a reality at the ground level.
The experiment began in a modest way some six months ago and success came their way in no time. The growers formed into Sri Venkateshwara Mango Growers Association to translate their spirit of cooperation into action with the help of Horticulture department.
The farmers had dug up a huge water pond in three acres common site of farmers with assistance from the Horticulture department under the comprehensive horticulture development scheme. To quote S. Subramanyam Naidu, the pond helped store four crore liters of rain water during the rainy season which is now helping mango gardens survive acute drought conditions.
When it rains, the pond collects and stores rainwater for usage during water-stress conditions during summer.
Water from the pond is getting exploited to water the mango plantations with the help of motors. But for our collective efforts and missionary zeal in water harvesting, mango plantations in our fields would have died by this time, Subramanyam Naidu told The Hans India.
“Recurring drought and water scarcity have become a regular phenomenon in our area which engendered the idea of water conservation in our minds”, he recalled. The grit and determination of this group won the appreciation of district Collector S Pradyumna who visited the pond on April 25.
When almost all the bore wells went dry due to depletion of ground water, practice of rainwater harvesting is only a ray of hope for the drought-hit farmers in the district.
A farmer Venkateshwarlu said he has decided to take a leaf out of the book of the fellow mango growers and harness waste water.