Tribals on the pathway to productivity

Tribals on the pathway to productivity
Highlights

East Godavari district has vast forest area spread 11 mandals and has rich natural resources. Due to lack of awareness and technique, tribals were failing to tap rich resources stored in the agency area.

Rampa Chodavaram: East Godavari district has vast forest area spread 11 mandals and has rich natural resources. Due to lack of awareness and technique, tribals were failing to tap rich resources stored in the agency area. Most of the tribals were depending on traditional farming methods for their livelihood. But, the situation is changing now and they are adapting innovative technique in farming and other activities, thanks to Krishi Vignana Kendra (KVK) set up at Pandirimamidi near Rampa Chodavaram.

Set up in the year 2010, KVK, a branch of Indian Council of Agriculture Research ICAR) and an extension institute of Dr YSR agriculture University, is striving for the betterment of the tribals in the East Godavari district. In the year 2012, Directorate of Maize Research introduced cultivation during rabi, which was the first in the agency area. Later, KVK introduced high yielding varieties of cashew grafts (BPP8&BPP9) and distributed 1.50 lakh cashew grafts to 2,000 families in order to enhance its cultivation area.

Later, high yielding paddy varieties of MTU1075 and JGL17004 were distributed as part of the seed village project. KVK also launched new variety of chicks (Vanaraja) which can grow up to five kilograms and gives 180 eggs per annum. About 15,000 chicks have been distributed to 1,500 families which enabled tribal people to enhance their income. Asil (Fighting birds) variety has been also introduced in the agency area which is more resistant then the old variety. There are 14 reservoirs in the agency area including Bhupathi Palem, Musurumilli and Maddigedda in addition to 250 individual tanks.

KVK has started composite fish culture - replacing mono culture - and introduced new variety of fish like Calta, Rohu, Mrigala and grass corp Lifetime livelihood for 146 families which were displaced due to Bhupathi Palem project with the support of ITDA, Rampa Chodavaram are also being provided. About 2.50 lakh fish fingerlings have been released into the Bhupathi Palem reservoir. Fishermen here will have the right to cultivate fish in the reservoir for the lifetime.

Senior scientist and head, head, KVK, A Srinivas explained that new variety of Sorghum seeds have been introduced in the agency area with the cooperation of Indian Institute of Millet Research and seeds, fertilizers and chemicals worth Rs 10 lakh were distributed to 500 families. He said that cultivation duration will come down to 110 days instead of six months in the past and 1,500 tribal families were benefitted in the last three years by getting yield of nine quintals per acre against one quintal in the past. Stating that there was no turmeric cultivation in the agency area in the past, he said that Salem variety of turmeric has been introduced and turmeric is being cultivated in 400 acres in the agency area.

By Samson Raj

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