Various watershed development activities will be carried out in 20 project areas including: agro-met stations, soil conservation/water harvesting, micro farming, community well with delivery efficiency and capacity building activities.

Narrative

A. Agro-met stations: -

The objective of installing agro-met stations in projects villages has been to assist the farmers to get timely and accurate meteorological information. With this in view, 6 projects were selected for this activity. In 5 project villages, agro-met stations ( 1 in each project) has been installed; Darewadi, Sattechiwadi, Shirasgaon, Kohane and Wankute project (IGWDP) for field testing and monitoring the following data continuously-

1. Ambient temperature
2. Relative humidity
3. Precipitation
4. Wind speed
The data for the ambient temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and wind speed is being collected by fully automated weather collection units, and transmitted hourly to the Weather and Water Budgeting Unit (WWBU).

In each project village, one person has been provided with basic training in collecting the information and maintain the records and measurements on a daily basis. The information collected at this center is shared with the farmers of the villages. The software will be installed in each project to generate and use the data which is available in devices in next quarter.

While the agro-met station at Darewadi was established sometime in June 2008, the remaining stations were installed late in the year.

During the year the ECO students have been trained to take the readings and handle the equipment. They were also given inputs on climate change and its possible impacts and the role that the agro-met stations could play in adaptation.
The agromet stations have been installed in five villages. The farmers are very enthusiastic about the project. The agromet stations are already providing the raw data. This data is available to the farmers. We are in process of providing training and establishing protocols for making this available in more meaningful form. Rahuri Agriculture University has assured us that they will work with WOTR to establish protocols and work-flows to integrate this raw data with the five-day forecast which they provide at district level.

The University have agreed that they will provide us with data and rules-set to integrate into our agro-met software, to issue adjusted advisories.

At present the agromet stations are in testing phase and we are is process of setting up work-flows that will ensure uninterrupted and high reliability of services. These five Agro-met stations will be integrated with the additional agromet stations which will be setup during the Climate Change Adaptation Project.

B. Soil conservation and Water Harvesting :-

During the reporting period, a total of 648 ha area has been treated against the total planned area of 617 ha in 8 projects. It includes the treatment on forest land of 15 ha in Sattechiwadi project and 5 check dam/check-weirs and 1 gabion structure are constructed under drainage line treatments. Two common lift irrigation schemes and repair of one existing check-dam is completed in Kaluchi Thakarwadi project. A total of 8 training programs are conducted for CBOs.

Besides the above, in 8 projects a total of 34 SHGs have been promoted and are actively functioning involving 425 women members. The total saving of these groups is Rs.7,22,110/- Internal lending is practiced.

Bio-village project : WOTR is implementing the Organic Farming through Bio-village project in seven villages across Maharashtra. These villages are Dhondbar in Nashik district, Shirasgaon in Sangamner, Sundarwadi in Aurangabad, Naralewadi in Jalna, Ozarde in Dhule, Ranwadi in Wardha, and Pusner- Sultanpur in Amrawati district. Under the Bio-village project, a total of 30 trainings and demonstrations were conducted in all 7 villages. The farmers are made aware about the problems they face in conventional farming practices and benefits of organic farming. The trainings include the use of biodynamic calendar for various farming operations, root treatments for horticultural crops, biodynamic sprays, some IPM techniques and demonstrations of Cow pat pit, liquid manure & biodynamic compost. Farmers started practicing these techniques on their farm and benefiting from the organic farming practices through reduced expenses on fertilizers and pesticides and increased net profits. These practices has also enhanced the self sustainability of agriculture in these watershed villages

C. Micro farming

Micro-farming is being implemented in three Regional Resource Centres (RRCs) of Aurangabad, Dhule and Sangamner.

The programme has been designed to equip the farmer with the ability to start micro farming practices on his own as well as build capacities of other farmers in his local. It is our view that once there are clusters of multiple micro farms, they will also promote inter-farm exchange of their produce and make the entire system even more robust. There will be a greater amount of diversification, experimentation and localization.
It was planned to have a demonstration in each cluster with expectations of the farmer and he would come forward to replicate this activity after seeing the good results.

(1) During the reporting period, 1 micro farm of 10 gunthas (10,000 sqft land) has been setup in the Darewadi Training centre campus. Out of 10 gunthas, 3 gunthas of land (1 each respectively) is being utilised as follows –
As the roots play a critical role in nutrient uptake and provide support to the plant. The roots of various plants also interact with roots of other plants placed close by. The “root treatment” therefore plays an important and crucial role in optimising the output. We have done this treatment to fruit plants within the DTC Campus

(i) On 1 guntha (1,000 sqft.), a Gangamamandal (this is similar to the kitchen garden activity, wherein vegetables and fruits are sown on a circular bed of soil) has been developed. (ii) Further, 1 guntha land has been used for preparing Amrutjal; (iii) and additional 1 guntha land a water tank has been constructed and water is used for farming activities and free space is utilised for related activities. (iv) The remaining 7 gunthas land is being used for farming purposes. This farm is in the developing stage and 450 heaps of the size of 10*3*1 ft. has been prepared. Crops on these heaps would be cultivated in this quarter.
(2) One farm has been setup at Ghulewadi (small training center and nursery of WOTR at Sangamner) and DTC for demonstration.
(3) Water is the only external source used. At Darewadi and Ghulewadi demonstration plots, the sprinkler sets are used to manage the available water for plots.
(4) An exposure visit was conducted for the farmers group to Malegaon to familiarize them of the latest agricultural practices. A total of 28 participants from Pimpalner, Sangamner and Aurngabad region attended the same.

(3) A 2 day residential training program on Micro-farming was conducted for the farmers at the Darewadi Training Centre. As finalized during the exposure visit, only those farmers who collected a biomass of 2 quintals were permitted to attend the training. The farmers who took the initiative of collecting the biomass were able to attend the training.
A total of 12 participants from different villages of Sangamner, Aurangabad and Pimpalner region, ECOs working for the micro-farming, and the field-in-charge of Sangamner, Aurangabad and Pimpalner participated in the training. The group was familiarized with the concept, process and practical experience of Micro Farming.

A video-show on micro farming, explaining the process of soaking biomass, preparing Amrit Jal and beej sanskar, virtuous and vicious cycle of economics of green revolution, concept and basic principles of micro farming (what is micro-farming, importance and need), process of Ganga Mandal, live fencing, biodiversity, preparation of heaps, seed treatment and sowing, record maintenance etc. was briefed.

Initially the farmers are asked to start with the gangama mandal (1 guntha), and not for the entire 10 guntha. If are found interested then we would allow them to implement on a larger scale.

(4) The farmers are convinced of the benefits of micro-farming and would take some more time for other farmers to implement this in their farms. Once the impacts are visible, more farmers would opt for this.
Presently, a total of 10 farmers of 7 villages are doing micro farming with the support of ECO’s. Around 450 heaps have been prepared. The monitoring visits have been conducted and during the visit methods and results of the demonstration to the farmers have been explained. The result of the demonstrations has also been discussed in village meetings.

(5) We are in the process of preparing process documentation on Micro farming and the process, learning’s and difficulties would be included.

(6) During the last year, total of 52 trainings/ exposures have been conducted at DTC, in which 1,180 participants have attended the trainings. They have visited the demonstration plots.
Also 12 trainings for villagers were conducted at Ghulewadi, 179 villagers participated and have visited demonstration plot. Several village exposure visits were conducted to Sattechiwadi and Naralewadi, where the visitors were exposed to the demonstration plots.

We are working towards forging an extensive partnership with Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, which is a leading Agricultural University in Maharashtra, with a view to explore various areas of collaboration, and specifically to share and validate the experiences of Micro-farming, Agro-met Stations and sustainable agriculture.

D. Community well with delivery efficiency: Six projects have been identified from 3 regions of Aurangabad, Sangamner and Dhule of Maharashtra for this activity. Activities would be implemented through government linkage and from government funds.

  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 2 Feb, 2010 Implementation Phase
  • Implementation Phase Project started on 2 Feb, 2010 Preparation Phase

Various watershed development activities will be carried out in 20 project areas including: agro-met stations, soil conservation/water harvesting, micro farming, community well with delivery efficiency and capacity building activities.

Narrative

A. Agro-met stations: -

The objective of installing agro-met stations in projects villages has been to assist the farmers to get timely and accurate meteorological information. With this in view, 6 projects were selected for this activity. In 5 project villages, agro-met stations ( 1 in each project) has been installed; Darewadi, Sattechiwadi, Shirasgaon, Kohane and Wankute project (IGWDP) for field testing and monitoring the following data continuously-

1. Ambient temperature
2. Relative humidity
3. Precipitation
4. Wind speed
The data for the ambient temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and wind speed is being collected by fully automated weather collection units, and transmitted hourly to the Weather and Water Budgeting Unit (WWBU).

In each project village, one person has been provided with basic training in collecting the information and maintain the records and measurements on a daily basis. The information collected at this center is shared with the farmers of the villages. The software will be installed in each project to generate and use the data which is available in devices in next quarter.

While the agro-met station at Darewadi was established sometime in June 2008, the remaining stations were installed late in the year.

During the year the ECO students have been trained to take the readings and handle the equipment. They were also given inputs on climate change and its possible impacts and the role that the agro-met stations could play in adaptation.
The agromet stations have been installed in five villages. The farmers are very enthusiastic about the project. The agromet stations are already providing the raw data. This data is available to the farmers. We are in process of providing training and establishing protocols for making this available in more meaningful form. Rahuri Agriculture University has assured us that they will work with WOTR to establish protocols and work-flows to integrate this raw data with the five-day forecast which they provide at district level.

The University have agreed that they will provide us with data and rules-set to integrate into our agro-met software, to issue adjusted advisories.

At present the agromet stations are in testing phase and we are is process of setting up work-flows that will ensure uninterrupted and high reliability of services. These five Agro-met stations will be integrated with the additional agromet stations which will be setup during the Climate Change Adaptation Project.

B. Soil conservation and Water Harvesting :-

During the reporting period, a total of 648 ha area has been treated against the total planned area of 617 ha in 8 projects. It includes the treatment on forest land of 15 ha in Sattechiwadi project and 5 check dam/check-weirs and 1 gabion structure are constructed under drainage line treatments. Two common lift irrigation schemes and repair of one existing check-dam is completed in Kaluchi Thakarwadi project. A total of 8 training programs are conducted for CBOs.

Besides the above, in 8 projects a total of 34 SHGs have been promoted and are actively functioning involving 425 women members. The total saving of these groups is Rs.7,22,110/- Internal lending is practiced.

Bio-village project : WOTR is implementing the Organic Farming through Bio-village project in seven villages across Maharashtra. These villages are Dhondbar in Nashik district, Shirasgaon in Sangamner, Sundarwadi in Aurangabad, Naralewadi in Jalna, Ozarde in Dhule, Ranwadi in Wardha, and Pusner- Sultanpur in Amrawati district. Under the Bio-village project, a total of 30 trainings and demonstrations were conducted in all 7 villages. The farmers are made aware about the problems they face in conventional farming practices and benefits of organic farming. The trainings include the use of biodynamic calendar for various farming operations, root treatments for horticultural crops, biodynamic sprays, some IPM techniques and demonstrations of Cow pat pit, liquid manure & biodynamic compost. Farmers started practicing these techniques on their farm and benefiting from the organic farming practices through reduced expenses on fertilizers and pesticides and increased net profits. These practices has also enhanced the self sustainability of agriculture in these watershed villages

C. Micro farming

Micro-farming is being implemented in three Regional Resource Centres (RRCs) of Aurangabad, Dhule and Sangamner.

The programme has been designed to equip the farmer with the ability to start micro farming practices on his own as well as build capacities of other farmers in his local. It is our view that once there are clusters of multiple micro farms, they will also promote inter-farm exchange of their produce and make the entire system even more robust. There will be a greater amount of diversification, experimentation and localization.
It was planned to have a demonstration in each cluster with expectations of the farmer and he would come forward to replicate this activity after seeing the good results.

(1) During the reporting period, 1 micro farm of 10 gunthas (10,000 sqft land) has been setup in the Darewadi Training centre campus. Out of 10 gunthas, 3 gunthas of land (1 each respectively) is being utilised as follows –
As the roots play a critical role in nutrient uptake and provide support to the plant. The roots of various plants also interact with roots of other plants placed close by. The “root treatment” therefore plays an important and crucial role in optimising the output. We have done this treatment to fruit plants within the DTC Campus

(i) On 1 guntha (1,000 sqft.), a Gangamamandal (this is similar to the kitchen garden activity, wherein vegetables and fruits are sown on a circular bed of soil) has been developed. (ii) Further, 1 guntha land has been used for preparing Amrutjal; (iii) and additional 1 guntha land a water tank has been constructed and water is used for farming activities and free space is utilised for related activities. (iv) The remaining 7 gunthas land is being used for farming purposes. This farm is in the developing stage and 450 heaps of the size of 10*3*1 ft. has been prepared. Crops on these heaps would be cultivated in this quarter.
(2) One farm has been setup at Ghulewadi (small training center and nursery of WOTR at Sangamner) and DTC for demonstration.
(3) Water is the only external source used. At Darewadi and Ghulewadi demonstration plots, the sprinkler sets are used to manage the available water for plots.
(4) An exposure visit was conducted for the farmers group to Malegaon to familiarize them of the latest agricultural practices. A total of 28 participants from Pimpalner, Sangamner and Aurngabad region attended the same.

(3) A 2 day residential training program on Micro-farming was conducted for the farmers at the Darewadi Training Centre. As finalized during the exposure visit, only those farmers who collected a biomass of 2 quintals were permitted to attend the training. The farmers who took the initiative of collecting the biomass were able to attend the training.
A total of 12 participants from different villages of Sangamner, Aurangabad and Pimpalner region, ECOs working for the micro-farming, and the field-in-charge of Sangamner, Aurangabad and Pimpalner participated in the training. The group was familiarized with the concept, process and practical experience of Micro Farming.

A video-show on micro farming, explaining the process of soaking biomass, preparing Amrit Jal and beej sanskar, virtuous and vicious cycle of economics of green revolution, concept and basic principles of micro farming (what is micro-farming, importance and need), process of Ganga Mandal, live fencing, biodiversity, preparation of heaps, seed treatment and sowing, record maintenance etc. was briefed.

Initially the farmers are asked to start with the gangama mandal (1 guntha), and not for the entire 10 guntha. If are found interested then we would allow them to implement on a larger scale.

(4) The farmers are convinced of the benefits of micro-farming and would take some more time for other farmers to implement this in their farms. Once the impacts are visible, more farmers would opt for this.
Presently, a total of 10 farmers of 7 villages are doing micro farming with the support of ECO’s. Around 450 heaps have been prepared. The monitoring visits have been conducted and during the visit methods and results of the demonstration to the farmers have been explained. The result of the demonstrations has also been discussed in village meetings.

(5) We are in the process of preparing process documentation on Micro farming and the process, learning’s and difficulties would be included.

(6) During the last year, total of 52 trainings/ exposures have been conducted at DTC, in which 1,180 participants have attended the trainings. They have visited the demonstration plots.
Also 12 trainings for villagers were conducted at Ghulewadi, 179 villagers participated and have visited demonstration plot. Several village exposure visits were conducted to Sattechiwadi and Naralewadi, where the visitors were exposed to the demonstration plots.

We are working towards forging an extensive partnership with Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, which is a leading Agricultural University in Maharashtra, with a view to explore various areas of collaboration, and specifically to share and validate the experiences of Micro-farming, Agro-met Stations and sustainable agriculture.

D. Community well with delivery efficiency: Six projects have been identified from 3 regions of Aurangabad, Sangamner and Dhule of Maharashtra for this activity. Activities would be implemented through government linkage and from government funds.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

Meetings with Villagers and Village Education Committee (VEC): Village meetings were conducted twice in every village for the sustainability of the project. In 80% villages, villagers are willing to give contribution to continue the project for the next year. These meetings were found very useful to make people aware about the work of teachers. The villagers were impressed to see the efforts of teachers to make their children’s future bright as well as identifying the lacunas in education system.

Other Issues

Unusual and unexpected issues faced during project execution

A. ECO course- Ist batch (2nd year budget):

Four contact sessions (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th) of 69 days were conducted at the Darewadi Training Centre during this year. Each contact session started with a review of all the contact sessions covered in the first year and sharing of field work experiences. On an average 22 students were present for classroom session.

The 8th contact session was the last contact session of the first batch. The students have been deputed for field work in the different regions. The course will completed by June 2009. The Executive Director and Managing Trustee of WOTR were present on last day of the session. They visited the exhibition put up by the students, discussed as well appreciated the hard work of the students during the course.

The topics covered were on techno-socio aspects of watershed (including planning and implementation), systems thinking and guidelines of WOTR Wasundhara.

B. ECO Course – IInd batch- 1st year budget

The admission process of the 2nd batch of ECO was completed as per the new course structure /guidelines. A total of 23 students (19 males, 4 females) have been enrolled for this course

A total of 4 contact sessions of 87 days has been conducted for the new batch. All session have been conducted at Darewadi Training Centre. The topics covered were-
• Basics of Ecology and Life support System
• Basics of System Thinking Maps
• Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI)
• Watershed Management
• Capacity building process
• Field exercise
• Joint Forest Management (JFM)

New sessions were also introduced and inputs were given on Atmadarshan, Climate Change Adaptation, rural leadership, proposal writing, record maintenance of project level accounts, practical session on micro-farming at DTC etc. were conducted for both the batches.

Methodology during the contact sessions: The methodology used was interactive classroom lectures and group works. The teaching and learning of the whole day was summarized at the end of the day. Every day before dinner the circle meetings were conducted for open discussions. The previous days topics and learnings were also reviewed. An exhibition on the topics covered during the contact sessions was also put. The guests/visitors and WOTR family group visited the exhibition and appreciated the students for their presentation.

Internal and External Assessment: Assessment of the students is done to evaluate the progress of the students. The students are assessed by their participation in the class, written work, homework, and understanding of the contents, presentation, peer evaluation and written test. This is done by internal as well as external persons.

Allocation for field Work: The students of both the batches have been deputed in different regions for field work to gain practical experience fieldwork. The assignments were given to the students as per the field requirement such as site supervision, data collection for FSR, awareness programmes, PRA, conducting gramsabhas, socio economic survey, net planning, preparation of QPR’s, maintaining field records, drainage line survey etc. Some students have facilitated the sessions in the regular trainings conducted by WOTR as co- faculty.

Library at DTC: A Library has been set up at DTC which has a collection of over 100 of books on environmental awareness, water laws, renewable energy, environmental health and hazards etc. These books are read and used for reference by the students and guests/visitors.

Other Initiatives: On request and invitation of Forest Dept, 2 small types of assignments on micro-farming with forest dept at Shrigonda and Nasik have been completed. 3 ECO students from the old batch facilitated and completed these assignments.
1 ECO student attended a 7 day training programme on leadership, conducted by CEE, Ahmadabad at Pune.

The e-learning modules are being prepared and would include the elements of new WOTR engine. It will be field tested in the coming year. Considering the field needs and expectation of ECO’s, some technical aspects as mentioned above have been covered. As new modules are being developed, all the aspects of participatory watersheds would also be covered.

C. School Strengthening:-
The School Strengthening Programme (SSP) started in February 2008 in Sangamner region. The programme started with the orientation programme in Gunjalwadi and Kohane in February 2008, the orientation programme Teachers, VDC members, Anganwadi Sevika, parents, Village Education Committee member, these five representatives from 20 villages were invited. Till date there are 9 schools in the SSP across two clusters.

(i) Sangamner Cluster: Gunjalwadi, Warudipathar, Satichiwadi, Dhumalwadi, Amlewadi, Darewadi.

(ii) Akole Cluster: Purushwadi, Wanjulshet, Kalas (Khu).

The major areas of the SSP are -

1. Teachers Training Programme
2. Maze Pustak Program/Marathi reading writing program is for 1st and 2nd grade.
3. Digital Classroom Program for class 5th.
4. School Readiness Program for Anganwadi.

1. Teacher Training Programme: Considering the innovative pedagogy, initial teachers training was the most fundamental assessment. Teachers training helped to built basic concept of the programme and in-between training programme helped to review the learning/difficulties and short-comings. The focus has been on the capacity building, brain storming, content pedagogy and practice of skills in terms of classroom application. As per the need and the requirement some training programmes were conducted.
During the reporting period 3 trainings were conducted in which 19 teachers participated from project villages. Total 12 training days were utilized.

2. Maze Pustak Programme (My book):

Maze Pustak is a series of 8 booklets. First three booklets (parts) cover all ‘Vernamala’ including ‘Jodakshar’. Rest five parts contains various language skills. Dividing books across first two standards, first four parts are used for standard 1st and the other four parts for standard 2nd.

Each part has a 20 marks test at the end of the book. Children can appear for next book only after scoring 75% in the test. There, always can be children which could not get 75%. In such a case teacher has to identify the area of weakness and give practice on the same area. Again the student has to go though the test. If he/she gets the required marks, the student would be provided the next book. Following this procedure students have reached to a certain level.

Learnings

Knowledge of project and process for sharing

While implementing the SSP following experiences / difficulties were noticed.
1. Do not have direct control over ZP teachers.
2. Teachers are insisting permission from their higher authorities for participation in this program.
3. All teachers have not attended first training with a result they do not have holistic picture of the program.
4. Teachers, who have attended the training, were unable to give training to the concern partners.
5. Instruments like TV, DVD took a lot time to arrange and hence a delay in the progress in the Digital Classroom program.
6. The Village Education Committee is not aware about its role; have very less participation in school activities. Needs to strengthen it.

• The students who find it difficult to manage with the course content should be dropped well in time to avoid the investments. Such three students have been dropped
• Practical assignments are required on regular basis from RRCs to the students to update themselves.
• Inputs from resource person from the field results into better understanding of the issues.
• The field practical improves the quality of output. In next years schedule more focus will be given on practice of tools at field rather than classroom practice.

Impact

People Impacted: 13074

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 13074

Watershed project rejuvenated the water table

People Getting Other Benefits: 13074

The whole village will benefit from the promotion of self-help based watershed development which contributes to improving agriculture and living conditions and increasing income in rural areas. Watershed Development in India is considered as a strategic intervention for poverty reduction. This is especially so since over 70% of arable land in India is rainfed on which over 60% of rural India draws its subsistence from.

Maintenance/Operating Costs Annual, in US$: $1081

Creating and measuring long-term impact

Meetings with Villagers and Village Education Committee (VEC): Village meetings were conducted twice in every village for the sustainability of the project. In 80% villages, villagers are willing to give contribution to continue the project for the next year. These meetings were found very useful to make people aware about the work of teachers. The villagers were impressed to see the efforts of teachers to make their children’s future bright as well as identifying the lacunas in education system.

Funding

Funded:
$382,830
Final Cost:
$469,749
$382,830:
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Plan/Proposal