For communities dwelling in Andhra Pradesh’s arid and semi-arid regions, drought is a frequent and serious livelihood challenge. Rayalaseema is one such region in the state, also home to our integrated cement Rayalaseema is one such region in the state, also home to UltraTech Cement’s integrated cement unit Andhra Pradesh Cement Works (APCW). In line with UltraTech’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) philosophy, the unit has tailored an Integrated Watershed Project, to address the region’s drought related challenges.
APCW undertook this Integrated Watershed project in partnership with The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). In February 2019, ICRISAT and APCW signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the same.
Through its community development interactions, APCW’s CSR team identified the need for enhancement of agricultural productivity through water conservation and livelihoods training in Rayalaseema region. The watershed project focussed on two villages in this region- namely Patnikota of Kolimigundla Mandal, Kurnool district and Ayyavaripalli of Tadipatri Mandal, Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
The project involved assessment of crop-growing capacity, awareness programmes for better crop-quality practices and other interventions including soil-sample collection and fertiliser recommendations.
APCW in partnership with ICRISAT has constructed seven rainwater harvesting structures in these two villages. These rainwater harvesting structures in Patnikota and Ayyavaripalli villages have created a water storage capacity of around 27,000 cubic metres (m3). The structures have harvested about 2.34 Lac m3 of water as on January 2022. Going forward, in a normal rainfall year, these structures are expected to recharge 1.35 Lac m3 of rainwater annually.
These water-related initiatives have positively impacted the lives of over 2,000 people across 500 households in two villages of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool and Anantapur districts. This project has now provided farmers with enhanced, year-round water resources for irrigation. Our water-related interventions have also resulted in substantial increase in total farmland. Farmers in these two villages have gained from UltraTech’s initiatives aimed at higher crop yield and better know-how in terms of good agricultural practices and soil culture. Other livelihood training initiatives – both in agri and non-agri activities – has led to a marked improvement in family-income levels of some the community members.