|Project office : H.No: 1-3-155/7, Divya Nagar colony, Manchiryal Road, Adilabad Dist. , Nirmal, Andhra Pradesh, IN
Aranya Agriculture Alternatives (Permaculture India) is an environmental and developmental organization. It is facilitating and providing services to the communities, organizations, government and other national and international agencies since 1999. Aranya has well experienced professionals with a maximum of 25 years of experience in environment and development sectors.
Aranya Agriculture Alternatives (Permaculture India) is an environmental and developmental organization registered (No.1502 of 1999) under the AP (Telangana Area) Public Societies Registration Act 1350 Fasli (Act 1 f1350 F). It is facilitating and providing services to the communities, organizations, government and other national and international agencies since 1999. Aranya has well experienced professionals with a maximum of 25 years of experience in environment and development sectors.
Achieving Ecological and sustainable agricultural livelihoods through permaculture farming practices for a Green Globe.
“ARANYA” aims to provide alternative solutions to the present conventional and chemical agricultural practices. Since forest is the mother of agriculture, ARANYA is committed to follow the philosophy of natural agricultural practices with focus on forest farming so as to take up production without causing destruction to planet earth, enabling all life forms to coexist. To achieve sustainable development on our Earth, mankind must act only in accordance with nature. ARANYA strongly believes that there is only one law i.e., Nature’s Law and human beings should not extract anything beyond their needs from the nature and also should return whatever that remains unused back to nature, a law which can be stated as LAW OF RETURNS to increase the ability of sustainable production.
ENHANCED FIELD PRESENCE/PERMACULTURAL PRACTICES - A RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
Aranya has developed Permaculture farms in 11.5 acres (5 hectares) in Bidakanne village, Jharasangam mandal, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh with ecofriendly methods , i.e farming without disturbing the laws of nature. All the permaculture practices are being followed vis-à-vis seed sowing to seed storing. This farm has the resilience to vagaries of nature. Regenerating the soils along with agricultural practices is unique in this farm. As a result the production has increased many folds in comparison to conventional methods. The perennials and rain fed crops are protected from all kinds of damages due to natural calamities.
This functional model farm is helping thousands of farmers, researchers, policymakers and organizations from all over the world to generate awareness about natural farming and is serving as learning centre for permacultural practices.
There is a Permaculture farm also developed in Zaheerabad in an area of 5 acres a functional permaculture farm serving utility based needs. Based on this farm individual farms designing have been propagated in several other areas too for individuals and communities, these are also model farms adaptable for subsistence farming in rain fed areas. The permaculture farm involve maximum creation and utility of resources in a limited area. This farm demonstrates knowledge on wind breaks, alley farming, mixed orchards, improved soil fertility, composting, mulching, soil cover, diversified cropping systems, fodder, fuel plantation and seed storage.
This farm not only demonstrates the methods of natural farming as mentioned but also the animal/livestock integration, which is almost disappearing from agriculture today. It teaches the work ethics and social responsibility of maintaining soil health, food and environment for peaceful existence and social justice to be possible for all life forms.
The influence of the external forces to shift methods of Agriculture from the traditional one to the so called Modern methods is happening against the laws of nature and ARANYA strongly believes that changes in Agriculture do not end in Agriculture itself. It will have unwanted bearings on Food habits, cultural ethos, and ultimately on human relations also. Hence Aranya worked for promotion of several permacultural practices integrating their application with implementation of different projects like Watershed Development Program, Tribal Development Fund ,NEAC-climate change ,AP Community Based Tank Management Program Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Livelihoods Improvement Project ,NATECO and others over years.
Aranya focuses on permaculture practices mainly in Adilabad district where the meddling with nature is relatively minimal in the rural areas with 15.7 % of tribal population, The district has largest area covered under forests. In terms of livestock, the animal population is relatively high. In these conditions it was thought of harnessing the situation and to check the external forces from entering the district and prevent depletion of the natural resources. Operating in the district, Aranya has been undertaking several projects to reinforce the natural farming traditions, restore the forgotten practices, manage the natural resources and establish alternative agricultural systems.
PRO-POOR INNOVATION – SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS PROMOTION THROUGH NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ARANYA believes on sustainable agriculture and mostly subsistence farming systems for enhanced food security and ensures sustainability of livelihoods through Natural Resource Management. The sustainability depends on the management systems to access, control and manage forest, water, soil, and vegetation and livestock resources.
Major NRM initiatives in Adilabad
A) Soil water conservation works
B) Biodiversity Conservation
C) Water resource management
D) Green Resource management & development
In tune with Aranya’s objectives, programmes on Natural Resources Management were launched and implemented since 2001 and till day being continued through several projects .
A ) SOIL WATER CONSERVATION WORKS
The Successful implementation of food for work programme by involving local communities and women which attracted the attention of the local district Administration resulted in ARANYA’s services requisitioned by DWMA (formerly DPAP) to implement Watershed Programme in 5 villages in the Nyalkal Mandal in 2001-02, viz., 1. Nyamathabad, 2. Ramtheertham, 3. Rukmapur, 4. Shamshallapur, and 5. Tekur.
These 5 watershed villages are very challenging as soil was degraded to a big extent, where ARANYA is still struggling to create model watersheds without compromising on certain issues like community participation, transparency, accountability and ethics. It is the strong conviction of ARANYA that by implementing watershed programme effectively most of the natural resources can be well conserved. ARANYA conceives watershed programme not as a simple activity/project but as an integrated approach to conserve the natural resources, which requires commitment and ideological base.
As a part of this project the following activities have been carried out;
VEGETATION DEVELOPMENT :
Soil erosion losses majorly can be arrested through vegetation development and Aranya focuses on these conservation practices integrating them in farm management through promotion of bund farming,live fences,contour/terrace farming,orchard management,seed dibbling practices,stylo broadcasting to check erosion e.t.c.Such practices have been promoted and implemented in cohesion with the operational activities of several projects like watershed,TDF,APLIP,APCBTMP and through all permaculture development projects with special focus on Arid and semi Arid areas emhasising adaption by small and marginal farmers.
B ) BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION :
SEED BANKS DEVELOPMENT
As a first step to kick start the Biodiversity activities seed production has been taken up in these villages by organising formal groups of farmers. These Farmers’ Groups also started the savings on the lines of Self Help Groups’ concept.
Initially ARANYA procured superior quality seed with good yield pedigree from the villages and distributed them in 5 village in Kadam Mandal in Adilabad district: 1) Masaipet,2)Lachanna Yellapur, 3)Narsapur, 4)Yelgadapa and 5)Petharpu selectively for two farmers in each village provided they return 1.5 times the quantity provided. These farmers provided with foundation seed were given orientation training on seed production, taken for exposure/learning visits also follow ups were done to monitor their progress.
More number of farmers joined the scheme in the following seasons and was supplied seed on similar conditions. This way the villages have become self sufficient in respect of seed availability. This scheme actually an age old informal practice whereby every village had such Seed Bank was revived. Farmers were explained about the importance of these banks and made aware of the necessity to restore such good old practices. The local Agriculture Officer and the govt Agriculture department was also involved to provided technical and advisory support to the farmers.
Several Biodiversity conservation works have been undertaken by Aranya as an environmental organizations through several practices adopted in other projects like NEAC, NATECO, also promotion through APLIP,TDF & APCBTMP.
C) WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT
Aranya focused on water resource management by promoting several alternative managing systems focused on practices like multi cropping to shift from mono cropping, crop diversification practices in command areas, micro nutrients applications ,conjunctive use of water ,early nurseries under bore wells and so on majorly through participatory irrigators management as a part of implementation of Swarna medium irrigation project since 2007,later also covered 8 minor irrigation tanks, Also recently in 2012 through SEMP Social and Environment management programme under AP water sector reforms is taking up interrelated activities in water logged, saline and seepage regions of command areas, identifying problem, remedies, facilitating linkages between govt. and farmers and implementing the requisite practices.
SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION
NABARD promotes the new innovative technologies for betterment of farming community. SRI elaborated as System of Rice Intensification in paddy is one such technology through which the farming community gets benefited with more yield, revenue, water resource management and practice of an eco friendly system. Aranya as a PIA is effectively implementing the SRI projects in command areas of three mandals (Nirmal, Dilwara and Sarangapoor) since 2010-11 in Adilabad District.
The activities of facilitation by Aranya include engagement of facilitator services, training on SRI concept, identification of farmers for SRI adoption, orientation on advantages of SRI concept land preparations , nursery raising ,transplantation, hand holding support, providing timely input support and monitoring of the progress.
D) GREEN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT
INTEGRATED AGRISYSTEMS/TREE BASED FARMING
The natural ways of farming, alternative farming practices and forest farming has always been the core philosophy of operation of Aranya ,APLIP project since 2007 covering 2 mndls, 2300 farmers and TDF since 2008 covering 12 mndls, 1000 acres/tribal hamlets are few brick stones which paved way and are going on for establishment of the above said tree based farming adaptations. Specially through TDF, Aranya is enabling 1000 acres horticulture plantation for the tribal families under which each family is supported by an acre of fruit plantation (Mango and Amla) and is taken up in 3 mandals of Adilabad since 2008 to empowered and enhance sustainability of livelihoods for 1000 tribal families in seven years.
Through Natueco farming practices initiated since 2010-11 in two villages ie Dhani and Jam villages of Sarangapoor mandal of Adilabad district, Aranya is implementing establishment of 20 demonstration plots through 10 Gunta model and development of Homestead gardens through Gangamma model.
Sustainable livelihoods promotion has been done by several of the following activities through several operational projects.
ARANYA Agricultural alternatives has already established an
11.5-acre Sustainable subsistence model/functional organic (demonstration) farm
near Bidakanne village, Jharasangam mandal, and Medal district, also at
Zaheerabad where training sessions are conducted periodically.
The centre is equipped with basic infrastructure to meet training needs. Also few mandals of Adilabad under projects implementing area of APLIP and others like Dhani and Jam villages of Sarangapoor mandal have been enabled as development centers for Perma-training centers in unit areas to be covered under NATECO and inter related projects. The eventual aim is to provide knowledge based resources to small and marginal, especially dry land farmers for continuation of subsistence farming and conducting need-based training activities. It is serving large number of people’s needs, most of the theories explained are practiced on the farm attached to the training centers with also nursery development and plantations of useful ethno botanical plants. This has helped the farming community to a maximum level as the same principles are hitherto replicated in the small and marginal farms while implementing different farm based projects in the rural and tribal areas under Aranya’s operational purview.
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