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Approach

The project follows a participatory planning, implementation and management strategy. Through out the entire project cycle the tank stakeholders will essentially be involved in every aspect such as tank rehabilitation, management and improving the production and economic returns from tank based livelihoods. The following approaches are designed to have an effective participation of stakeholders in the implementation process.

Defining tank system and its stakeholders

Identification of stakeholders is the foremost aspect for participatory project implementation. Various stakeholders will be identified using Participatory tolls. The stakeholders will consist of people who are directly or indirectly use tanks for their livelihood. Once all the tank stakeholders have been identified a detailed Internal Interest Analysis Matrix will be prepared of all the tank stakeholders.

In general the Water Users Association will have two types of stakeholders i.e. direct stakeholders and indirect stakeholders

  • 1.     Direct stakeholder
    i.      Ayacutdars (command area farmers)
    •        ii.      Fishermen
  • 2.     Indirect stakeholders
  •         i.      Washer men
  •        ii.      Livestock keepers
  •      iii.      Ground water users

Community participation

As the project adopts a participatory implementation strategy, it is envisaged that the stakeholders participation will create a conducive environment to take part collaboratively to:

  • Decide and articulate on what is needed
  • Decide on directions, priorities, responsibilities, and performance levels
  • Develop interventions to achieve the agreed objectives
  1. The objectives of the participatory strategy will be to

    1.    Supporting and strengthening the capabilities of local people and their institutions

    2.    Enable people and their institutions to establish working relationships with related organizations

    3. Enhance the sustainability of the project interventions

    4.    Enabling local level planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

    5.    Creating a suitable environment for better use of capacities of people and resources available at the community level for sustainable local development

The basic principles of the participation strategy will be:

  1. Mutual Respect - All people must be accepted as they are with their strengths and weaknesses
  2. Active Involvement - A prerequisite to participation is active involvement of all and participation must be continue from planning through evaluation
  3. Agree to Disagree - Participation requires an implicit and explicit understanding to agree and disagree and to accept the common interest above personal interests
  4. Building Consensus - Collective responsibility for decisions made
  5. Commitment to Action - Collective commitment to action on the basis of agreed upon decisions and plans
Community will participate in the project primarily through the institution of the Water Users Association.

Tank based livelihood management

Due to declining performance of tanks, the local communities in many cases have shifted from tank based agriculture. Moreover, it is also seen that the return from agriculture at state level  has remained stagnated over a period of time due to fluctuations in rainfall, suboptimal functioning of physical infrastructure and lack of changes/ adoption on newer land use patterns and agronomic practices. 

Therefore the primary focus of the project activities is not only to restore the gap ayacut through tank systems improvement but also to improve the production and economic returns from tank based livelihoods. The Andhra Pradesh Irrigation  & Command Area Development Department undertook a study of tank based livelihoods which brought forth a range of tank based livelihoods and changes in livelihoods adoption by Water Users Association members based on water availability. The study indicated that farmers practice multiple livelihood options based on available natural resources and these need to be utilized effectively for improving livelihoods.

The realization from a number of studies and interactions with extension workers, professionals and academicians indicates the need and importance of development interventions to improve the productivity of crops as well as maximizing returns by reducing gaps in demand-supply chain. There is a specific need of focusing interventions on effective demonstrations to farmers to disseminate the technology and facilitating adoption of the technology by farmers, creating awareness on quality standards, organizing farmers and promoting collective sale and purchase of inputs and produce so as to improve the returns. Market led extension is the newer concept which needs to be adopted for improving the economic returns to farmers and other tank users. The present need is to fit the missing links in agro-based production and marketing systems to optimize the returns.

 
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