Dharmavaram village in Prathipadu mandal of East Godavari district is dominated by small and marginal farmers who are mostly dependent on rain for agriculture. Juvvala Venkata Rao, a native of the village, owns 2.5 acres of dry land which is the only source of his living. As there were no rains and no other sources of water for him to cultivate the land, he had become an agriculture labourer. His story is like many other small and marginal farmers in the village who have dry lands and have no source of water for agriculture for their small landholdings.
In convergence with the Horticulture Department, Shri Venkata Rao was given 150 mango and cashew plants during 2013-14 and again 350 saplings in 2014-15 that were planted in his 2.5 acres of land. In 2016-17, a farm pond was sanctioned on his land through MGNREGS as part of the Ground Water Recharge Project. Under the supervision of MGNREGS and Horticulture Department officials, he maintained the orchards and earned wages through watering the plants and digging pits. The farm pond provided moisture to the soil and he had a healthy produce.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD:
“I am happy now. I work on my own piece of land taking care of the mango and cashew plants. The MGNREGS works have changed my land and life too. The plants are now bearing fruits and I am getting regular assured income. I am now getting annual profit of Rs 50,000 from this land which is of great help to my family.” – Venkata Rao