What's the environment like in rural India?
Throughout Andhra Pradesh and Telegana, low rainfall means drought is a constant threat. In rural areas where agriculture is the main source of income, people face high risk and low returns. Maintaining agricultural production is difficult in this region due to several factors:
• Lack of soil and moisture conservation measures
• Prevalence of degraded and eroded soils
• Groundnut monoculture and the dependence on rain-fed farming
• Outdated agriculture practices such as flood irrigation
• Excess use of fertilizers and pesticides
What are we doing to help?
In 1987, VFF implemented an environmental sustainability plan to ensure the future of the families in the region. We began to address these issues by raising public awareness about eco-regeneration and the environment. The plan included extending crop diversification, promoting effective water management through harvesting rainwater and efficient micro-irrigation systems, and planting land with natural vegetation and tree cover. Our sustainability initiatives also promote the participation of women and improve their quality of life through enhanced access to water for domestic purposes.
Our programs have improved agricultural production for thousands of families:
• More than 45,000 hectares of land transformed from desert to farm
• More than eight million fruit trees distributed to farmers to diversify their crops
• 104,000 trees planted to prevent erosions and increase the capacity of the land to absorb water
• More than 3,000 water storage structures constructed to retain the monsoon rains and support local farming irrigation systems
Irrigation has made farming in the desert possible, successfully helping over 15,000 people escape extreme poverty. Drip irrigation wastes the least amount of water, keeping the ground water level sustainable. Sprinkler irrigation is just $360 per acre, while drip irrigation as pictured above is about $900 per acre. Both methods are used to bring life back to the desert.
Our experts helping farmers prevent bug infestations and plant disease to increase crop yield. This also creates an opportunity to sell more diverse foods in the market.
The Chenchu people have lived in the forest as a tribal community. They want to preserve their way of life, which includes bee keeping and honey production in the forest. We are helping them fight for the right to their native land and support forest preservation.