Annapoorna Model

Annapoorna model

Main Features on Annapoorna Model

Andhra Pradesh- The Annapoorna

The State of Andhra Pradesh is known as "Annapoorna" – because of the surplus food grains our state is known to produce. But the situation has been changing. Cultivation has become a least preferred profession due to ever increasing cost of agricultural inputs, relatively low yield and vagaries of prices more than that of weather.

Increasing rural population is now migrating to cities in search of alternate livelihoods and this raises serious questions on the future of farming sector. In this situation, adapting a system of cultivation with low cost of agricultural inputs, increased yield and high income even in small land holdings is the panacea. The present model aptly named "Annapoorna" is one such system of crop cultivation. It ensures food security to marginal and tenant farmers and thereby aims to alleviate the problem of hunger and it will get 50,000 to 1,00,000 income per year.

Field Preparation of "Annapoorna" Crop model

  • The area of land is half an acre
  • A trench of 18 inches or 1.5 feet width and 6 inches depth needs to be dug along the boundary.
  • Beds of 7 feet width have to be made followed by a trench of two feet width and 6 inches depth.
  • The soil taken out from the trenches is to be spread evenly on the bed.
  • The height of this 7 feet bed is slightly raised. In order to make it more fertile, some organic manure and tank silt can be added to the bed. The plot is now ready with rich microbial cultures and nutrients. This is due to the fact that excess water flows into the drains from there into the pond.

Cropping Pattern

The variety of crops that can be cultivated in this plot-We can plant perennial/horticulture plants like mango, jack fruit Guava, Lemon etc. Tenant farmers can grow short duration plants like Pomegranate, Papaya, Drum-stick, Banana etc. We can also grow only vegetables, leafy vegetables, millets, pulses etc. We can also plant Marigold, Chrysanthemum for trap crops and Agave, Mehandi, Castor, Jowar, Maize, Red gram as border crops.

While planting fruit bearing varieties like mango, jack fruit- we should bear in mind that the canopy of our trees remains within our own field. To ensure this, they should be planted six feet within the boundaries and their branches should be pruned as they grow bigger.

System of Rice Intensification (SRI system) can be adapted for cultivation of not only paddy but wheat, ragi, maize and other millets also. Many vegetable crops can be grown with proper spacing and the use of de-weeder makes farming a less labour intensive.

HARVESTING & Marketing

The planting or harvesting of the crops on all the beds in the half acre of plot is not done at a time. Different crops that mature at different times are grown one after the other. This ensures good yield and more income from the crops round the year. The bed on which the crop is ready for harvest alone will be collected and the next sowing/planting is done in a sequence. Therefore the need for many laborers at one time will not arise. Moreover, the difficulties in selling of the crop at a time or distress sale can be avoided.

Spacing between different crops

  • Big trees such as Mango, Jack-fruit, Jamun, and Amla should be planted 36 feet apart.
  • Guava, Chikku, Lemon and Pomegranate saplings can be planted in between the mango plants at a distance of 18 feet.
  • Papaya, Drum-stick, Banana that occupy lesser space should be planted at a space of 9 feet between the second set of trees listed above. The above plants should be planted along the same row across the plot of land leaving space to cultivate single variety of vegetables, pulses, millets etc on each bed. Alternate cropping and Crop rotation should be adopted for each bed to control pests.

Organic Farming practices

Organic farming practices need to be followed for soil enrichment, treating seeds, control of pests and diseases. The fundamental requirement for organic farming is native cows/Buffallows. We know that the use of cow-dung and cow-urine has proven to give better yield. In addition, milk and milk products also will help increase family's nutrition, health and income. Regular use of farm-yard manure, NADEP compost, Amrutha Mitti, (Soil enriched with useful microbial culture), Amrutha-jalam, Dravajeevamrutham and Neemasthram ensures growth of healthy crops and prevents damage due to pests and diseases.

In this model water is made available to the bed by irrigating the trenches once in 8 to 10 days which provides adequate moisture to the roots. This makes it easy for the farmer to irrigate the land besides conserving water. We need to note that the plants require moisture but not standing water.

Rainfed areas

So far, we have seen the cultivation of crops with water resources. Annapoorna model can also be adapted in areas without adequate source of irrigation, power supply. For this- Mulching, and Drip irrigation with manual pumping, or watering enables the farmer to reap good harvest all through the year and earn regular income.

Farm Pond and Alternate Livelihoods

A farm pond at the lower portion of the land should be dug to store the excess water that otherwise flows out causing soil erosion, nutrients depletion and damage to the crops. When aquaculture is taken up in this pond it will help farmers get extra food and income.

A part of the farm-pond can be covered to make a shelter with a closely knit wire-mesh. Few poultry birds can be reared in this. The droppings of the poultry birds will serve as feed for the fish in the pond and this generates extra income.

Some of the farmers using shade-nets to cover the fish pond to protect the fish from direct sunlight. Vegetable creepers like ridge gourd, bottle gourd etc., can be grown around the pond which will make a natural shade over the pond- providing vegetables and thereby additional income.

Thus 'Annapoorna' model is an intensive, integrated, adaptable organic farming model that ensures food security and is being followed by 70 farmers in vizianagaram distrist.

Click here for month wise yielding of Annapoorna model(excel-ANN-digubadulu)