Sector Expert Consultation on Poverty
For Andhra Pradesh priorities, a consultation on poverty was organized covering the various challenges faced by different sections of the society. The consolation was held on 6th of July 2017 at the Civil Service Academy at Malulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderbrad. The discussion covered various issue contributing to poverty including livelihood, water and sanitation, agriculture and allied activities, malnutrition, open defecation, alternate energy access and health issues.
A diversity of interventions were brainstormed among participants covering a majority of the issue as follows:
Andhra Pradesh has a high dependency on Krishna and Godavari rivers and traditional water bodies mainly because of erratic rainfall and lack of timely availability of water. In North Andhra and Rayalseema: traditional water bodies exist whereas borewells and reverse canals are used in Vishakaptnam, Chittor, Cuddapah. The impact of improving water availability is immense as it directly affects kharif crop plantations. The availability of water in the last stage of kharif crop cycle improves crop production by almost 85%.
- Focus on tank and basin management in watershed development schemes
- Siltation of weak bunds
- Organize and structure farmer associations around each tank
- Hydrological linkages between tanks need to be revived
- Community mobilization for maintaining traditional water bodies
- Need to upgrade technology and water related infrastructure
- Invest in inter basin water transfers
Andhra Pradesh has approximately 6.5 % tribal population compared to a national average of 8%. The lack of awareness of government programs and entitlements in the tribal community came as the major point during the discussion.
- Emphasis on farmer produces group for better bargaining power
- Certification system for marketing crops
- Reduce and eliminate the role of middlemen
- Council groups to improve school enrollment
More than 57% of Andhra Pradesh’s population is employed in agriculture and sector contributes 27.6% to the GSDP, indicating the issue of low efficiency in agricultural production.
- Concerted effort to shift to organic farming to reduce input costs as seen in traditional farming
- Focus on agrarian distress
- Promote water budgeting at village level to overcome groundwater depletion
- Minimum selling price of pulses and food grains
- Revive millet production
- Promote cluster farming
Access and quality of the education along with high drop out rate, after class-V was one of the major concern.
- Incentivize teachers and schools to improve attendance
- Develop an independent board based on parameters (similar to the GRE) to assess children independent of school curriculum
- Enhanced skills for livelihood, living and individual growth
- Nearer and better equipped schools
- Better quality education in government schools
- Participatory and responsive governance
Andhra aims to generate electricity through renewable sources like wind and solar in a decentralized manner and help generate and conserve energy in rural areas
- Develop solar energy plants
- Harness Reverse metering or solar net metering
- Improve investment in solar plants through capital subsidies
- Invest in natural resources such as Biogas plants and Bio energy
The discussion also touched various issues related to the improvement of infrastructure (including connectivity, power, roads and water supply), gender equality, migration and access to institutionalize and affordable finance in rural areas.
List of Participants
- Amir Ullah Khan, Senior Adviser, Copenhagen Consensus Center
- Dr B M Naidu, Associate Director, Centre for Good Governance
- B SadaSiva, Programme Leader, DHAN Foundation
- G V Subbaram Reddy, Chief Operating Officer, Eklavya Foundation
- M.V Ramachandran, Executive Secretary, WASSAN
- Steffi Itola, Project Officer, Tata Trusts
- V Sreepathi Reddy, Vice President, Vandemataram Foundation
- Shankar Dutta, Managing Director & Dean, BASIX