Andhra Pradesh has led the way in encouraging vermi-composting work under MGNREGS in convergence with the Horticulture Department to ensure continuous fertility of agricultural lands. Lolugu is a small backward and drought-prone village, ten kilometres away from Ponduru mandal headquarters in Srikakulam district. Despite owning many acres of land, small farmers are unable to cultivate them as they are dry and heavily dependent on rains. Sri Karuvodu is one such small farmer who owned eight acres of dry land. Along with his family he managed to turn around their fortunes after implementing vermi-composting through MGNREGS in October 2016.
The MGNREGS functionaries identified Karuvodu family’s eight-acre land along with 11 other families for development work. This includes construction of water harvesting structures, farm ponds and vermi-compost units. The vermi compost unit for the four families headed by Karuvodu were planned at a cost of Rs. 21,023/-. It was done under the supervision of the Horticulture Officer and the MGNREGS technical team.
Alongside, the family dug two bore-wells in their lands and from the manure produced from the vermi-composting units; they could convert their land from barren to fertile. This enabled them to cultivate fruits and vegetables- banana, tindoora, ridge gourd, ginger, maize and bitter gourd are cultivated now using manures.
The vermi-compost units provide the family with the manure to fertilise their fields – this saves them Rs. 3000/- per month. One unit produces approximately three tonnes of manure from one compost unit every five months which is sufficient for their crops. The vegetables cultivated in this organic manure have greater demand in the market and is a source of secure income for the family round the year.