Assam Agricultural Competitiveness Project (AACP): A Programme for Increase Productivity and the Market Access of Farmers and Community Groups
The Programme Context:
The basic objective is to increase the productivity and the market access of targeted farmers and community groups. Key indicators of success would be increased yields of crops, fish and livestock products – complemented by an increase in the proportion of marketed surplus. Although the over-riding objective is to stimulate the growth of Assam’s agricultural economy, project activities are predominantly pro-poor, directed primarily at small and marginal landholders, poor fishing communities and the landless. The project also aims to empower the poor farming communities (as clusters/ groups) by providing knowledge-tools-financial support for achieving higher agriculture productivity and facilitate efficient linkages with agriculture commodity markets for better remunerative prices and thereby ensuring an increase in farm family income.
The project AACP-AF covers all three sub-divisions namely Jorhat, Majuli and Titabar in agriculture sector. For Tractor & Micro Watershed Drainage Project, the intervention include all the development blocks while STW (Shallow Tubewell) programme is operated in three development blocks namely Ujani Majuli, Central Jorhat and Kaliapani Development Block.
Sector wise key activities undertaken during the year:
Agriculture Sector – Shallow Tube Well / Tractor
In Jorhat district, Ujani Majuli Development Block and a part of Central Jorhat & Kaliapani Development Block was being identified as the feasible area for STW installation & arsenic free out of eight numbers of development block in the district. During last year, 2013-14, NEADS along with district Agriculture Engineering Dept. disbursed 485 nos. of STW to the ASG (Agriculture Service Group) beneficiaries against the same target in Jorhat. In 2014-15, the project fixed 120 nos. STW and 6 nos. of Tractor as additional targets in the district. So, DNGO NEADS, Jorhat completed 30 nos. of awareness & group discussion in Bezarchiga, Meleng Balichapari, Kakojan, , Kawoimari, Azarguri and khanamukh area under Jorhat Sub-Division and in Mudoibeel, Bogoriguri, Jokaibuwa, Ratanpur, Morisuti, Marisuti, Jengrai, Ujani Majuli & 2 no.Bargayan areas under Majuli sub-division during the year for STW and Tractor. Total 172 nos. of STW and 20 numbers of tractor application form among the farmers were distributed. Besides, we collected more than one hundred fifty (150) numbers filled application from the field areas for both the components STW and Tractor.
During this year, more than 140 nos. of STW applications and more than 12 nos. of Tractor application could be collected against the action plan covering the whole district. Then we completed the social screening report of collected forms of ASG and submitted the same to the Agriculture Engineering Department along with the selected and non-selected cause.
Agriculture Sector– Micro Watershed Drainage Programme:
During the year, 7 nos. of Micro Watershed Drainage Projects (MWDP) are completed in Jorhat district under AACP-AF. At that time NEADS in collaboration with Agriculture Engineering Department monitored every project site i.e. Chengelijan MWDP, Titabor, Nagakulajan MWDP, Halowapather, Radhikajan MWDP, Panichakua, Kawoimari Bagarigurijan MWDP, Uttar Dulia, Deughariajan MWDP, Deugharia and Gendhali Kolajan MWDP and discussed with the community and MWG committee regarding their role and responsibility on the development work. After completion of drainage development, in all projects site the beneficiaries cultivated paddy or other vegetables for the first time in this year. More than about eighty percent lands are free from water and as a result they could cultivate there. The production is much better than before only for development of drainage and the profit of farmer was increased. In this year, Mridula Singh, Sr. Social Development Specialist, World Bank visited the Chengelijan MWDP site, Titabor.
Though the physical works was completed, NEADS regularly visiting the entire site in regular intervals for monitoring. They suggested them to maintain books and accounts, to organize regular meetings, collected production report of MWDP area and also reminded on the 10% fixed deposit for maintenance of the drainage after three years.
Public Works Department (PWD) – Rural Roads Upgradation
In this year, DNGO NEADS, Jorhat is included for rural roads up gradation under PWD sector. The project sanctioned 2 nos. fishery approach road and 2 nos. rural roads up gradation in Jorhat district, 5 nos. of fishery approach road in Golaghat district and 1 no. rural roads up gradation in Sivsagar district as per DPR submitted Rural Roads Dept. under PWD of concerned districts. NEADS coordinators organized different awareness camp among the beneficiaries of roads. They mobilized the people of those villages and road management committee was formed as per project guidelines for smooth running of the development work. There we found no any R & R issues. Though there have some environmental issues, we negotiate them after discussion with community. During the stipulated period the activity of rural roads development are completed under AACP-AF.
In Forestry Sector under Digboi Forest Division, Tinisukia NEADS organized 4 nos. of awareness meeting and motivation programme among four JFMC namely Nazirating, 3 No. Borbil, Bhitar Pawoi and Baraphutia. During this period, the selected list of beneficiaries for Employment Generation Mission scheme from all JFMC has been submitted to the concerned authority. Besides group formation for intercropping activities is completed by our coordinator with the help of JFMC community. During this year, NEADS coordinator took initiative in production of intercropping product (Turmeric) as well as their marketing. The social audit was completed in every JFMC by the all stakeholders during the year. The data collection of profit sharing of the JFMC beneficiaries is also completed in this period.
GPS Coordination of installed STW in UpperAssam:
Besides those regular activities, NEADS involved in some other activities in this period. We completed GPS reading of installed STW in both AACP & AACP-AF period in 5 districts of Upper Assam, viz. Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivsagar, Dibrugarh and Tinisukia during the year 2014-15. Moreover, another ongoing activity of NEADS was water sample collection from STWs under AACP-AF in Jorhat district. Then monitoring of Farmers Information & Advisory Centre (FIAC) under CSS-ATMA in Golaghat, Sibsagar and Tinisukia district, data collection from different ASG, CIG, CTG, beel fishery, DCS , MWDP & JFMC for ICR mission were some important activities of the project.