Thursday, September 10, 2009

FYI: [ReachIndia] Droughts in India: We need your Support!

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From: Somu Kumar <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 8:09:48 PM
Subject: [ReachIndia] Droughts in India: We need your Support!

Donate to All India Relief Fund here:

Dear AID friends and supporters,

Indian Monsoon of 2009 has failed expectations and annual rainfall is very poor in several districts. It is predicted as a possibly  worst rainfall year since 19721. The delayed and deficient monsoon has severely affected the agriculture in various states and sowing has come down by 20 percent, with paddy being the worst hit. Paddy acreage is down by almost 60 lakh hectares mainly due to less rain in parts of UP, Haryana, Bihar and West Bengal. As many as 161 districts across India have been declared drought-hit. Eight of the Indian states, which are part of the grain bowl, have been declared drought-hit2. AP government had today declared 971 revenue mandals across 21 districts as drought-hit3.

AID partners are working to address the crisis from multiple angles, keeping food security for all as the top priority. Below projects focus on salvaging the situation in few areas but soon the need could be huge. AID needs your support to reach out to more people.

Please DONATE generously to help expand our reach:

1. Contingency cropping plan to tackle monsoon failure:

Introduction of Minor millets for contingency cropping plan for addressing the failure of rain in Anantapur district. 

2009 monsoon has been weak and delayed this year. In some parts of AP including Chittoor district and Anantpur, there have not been any significant rains until mid-Aug even to start sowing. Groundnut is a major annual crop here [8 Lakh ha], and the sowing is done as soon as it rains, normally in June. Due to lack of rains till Aug this year, less than 30% of the total cultivated area has been sown under ground nut so far.  Millet production can be a good alternative in this difficult situation.  Millets are short duration crops which can be sown in late August and being hardy and weather-resistant crops, they will give at least a minimum yield. This will ensure that at least the families have basic food security by consuming the grains, and selling the surplus.  

Timbaktu Collective and AID-Hyderabad are working on promoting minor millets, namely korra (foxtail millet) and saama (finger millet) among farmers in these 2 districts. AID-US has sent Rs. 2.4 lakhs in Aug 2009 for this initiative so far. More info...

2. Rejuvenation in a Drought Prone Village: Surodi watershed project

Surodi is a small village in drought prone Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.  With a total support of $15,000 from AID during 2001-2007, Surodi villagers built small cement, stone and mud bunds and checked soil and water erosion. Water table rose and trasformed the agricultural scene in the last 3 years  -- its wells have filled up, the production of milk in village has increased 8 fold. Last year Surodi villagers sold Rs 40 Lakh of onion. Today there are 7  tractors, 70 motor cycles and 50 mobile phones in Surodi village. 

Read more about Surodi efforts:

3. Sustainable farming project from Chetana Vikas:  

AID started collaborating with Chetana Vikas about a year back amidst the spate of farmer suicides in Vidarbha. Chetana Vikas is setting up several farms in collaboration with farmers in Vidarbha using low external inputs, high internal resource regeneration, natural water, soil and pest management techniques in order to create food and nutrition security for farmers. Self help groups process the produce and market the value added food items as part of an income generation activity. The primary objectives of this project is to introduce experiments / innovations in farming, and create models of sustainable development in agriculture.

4. Kitchen Gardens / Bio-Intensive Garden (BIG) Plots:  

Before monsoon began in June, AID Srikakulam workers motivated hundreds of rural families to dig out a plot for planting vegetables.  In every village, 8 - 12 families came forward and did the work needed to prepare the plots.    After inspection, families received seeds for okra, beans, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes,birakayi, potlakayi, anapakayi, kakarakayi, etc.   This year kitchen gardens were also promoted in Visakha district working with Ajay Kumar of Nisarga.  Plans are on to contunue promoting more kitchen gardens through themonth of August and September due to the demand for them considering the failure of monsoons  Success of Srikakulam initiative of 2008 is at 

AID works with many of our partners in Water Conservation efforts to help villages tackle drought situations. Few of our projects given below:

Gujarat:   and

Maharashtra : 

Karnataka:  and more similar projects can be find at

If you have any questions, please contact us. 


AID Volunteers

All India Relief Fund:

Provides for relief, rehabilitation and mitigation of impact, during and after natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, drought, riots, industrial accidents, and gross negligence that results in large-scale displacement without rehabilitation and suffering of people.



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