Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL), a leading public sector enterprises of the Government of India under administrative control of the Ministry of Power and ICRISAT have joined hands to improve the livelihoods of small farm holders in Mahabubnagar (Telangana) and Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh) districts. The Memorandum of Understanding to implement the collaborative project on “Farmer-centric Integrated Watershed Management for Improving Rural Livelihoods” was signed at RECL headquarters in New Delhi on 29 May 2014. Mr. PJ Thakkar, Director (Technical), RECL and Dr William D Dar, Director General, ICRISAT signed the MoU in the presence of management representatives, namely Mr. Rajeev Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Ajit Agrawal, Director (Finance), Mr. Rakesh Kumar Arora, Executive Director, Ms Tharuna Gupta and other officials of RECL along with Dr Suhas P Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center, Dr. Narendra Kumar, Director, Country Relations & Business Affairs, and other officials from ICRISAT.
The overall goal of this initiative is to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and improve the livelihoods of rural poor in vulnerable rain-fed areas through integrated watershed management. The specific objectives are to establish “Model Sites of Learning” for harnessing the potential of rainfed areas by adopting integrated water resource management approach; to enhance water availability and its use efficiency for diversifying the livelihood systems in the target villages by adopting integrated water resource management approach; and to build capacity of the farmers in the region for improving rural livelihoods through a knowledge sharing and dissemination strategy.
The project will benefit more than 10,000 families in both the districts covering about 11,000 hectares by adopting a science-led integrated watershed development approach. The major thrust will be on conserving rainwater and augmenting groundwater and surface water resources in the watershed and the efficient use of land and water resources through improved and sustainable management of natural resources.
Dr. William D Dar, Director General, ICRISAT thanked RECL for this novel CSR initiative to benefit small and marginal farmers and assured complete support in implementing the project. On this occasion, Mr. Rajeev Sharma appreciated the approach, and RECL’s first CSR intervention under agriculture and said the Corporation would be glad to extend this collaboration to benefit farmers countrywide.