Newsroom  Press releases  2003

28) Linking IT with watershed development (6 March 2003)

The farmers at Adakkal mandal in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh have a unique defense against drought – the internet connection at the Information Hub in their neighborhood.

Facilitated by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), this Hub was established under the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihood Program (APRLP). The Adarsha Welfare Society – a federation of women's micro-credit societies – manages the Hub.

According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, the Information Hub blends with the concept of holistic development of dryland areas. It forms a part of integrated watershed development activities, which brings new livelihood opportunities to the poor population of these villages.

"The main aim of the Hub is to provide resource-poor farmers with information that can help them to reduce or overcome the effects of drought," said Dr Dar. The farmers get regular information about rainfall, weather changes and strategies to cope with drought.

ICRISAT's involvement with the Information Hub at Adakkal is a continuation of its work with the watershed projects conducted under the APRLP. These projects work to improve the livelihood of the farmers through activities like soil and water conservation and livestock improvement/crop improvement. Connecting the right people with the right information is the common need in these.

For the watershed projects, ICRISAT works with a consortium of agencies like the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, the National Remote Sensing Agency and the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University. This consortium is working to develop 50 watersheds in Mehboobnagar, Kurnool and Nalgonda districts.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the Information Hub in August 2002.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.