Konda Reddy Chavva, a CIE doctoral student, spent this past summer in Southern India working with World Education project staff and farmers to design participatory methodology for collection of baseline data on climatic variability. World Education assists the Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems Project in the design and implementation of Farmer Water Schools. Konda has served as the project coordinator for the past four years.
Changes in rainfall patterns can have a detrimental effect on small and marginal farmers, who constitute close to 80% of Indian farmers. Involving farmers in baseline data collection, validation and analysis will build critical thinking and research skills within their communities. Engaging farmers in designing implementation strategies and ensuing project activities will increase their ownership of the process and enhance participation. In a Farmer Water School a group of men and women farmers belonging to one Hydrological Unit come together to observe and analyze groundwater availability and crop-water requirements, discuss the situation with co-farmers, and make individual decisions that affect the collective groundwater resource.
For his dissertation, Chavva plans to focus on the role of nonformal education in promoting greater farmer awareness of crop-water management issues and collective data gathering and analysis by farmers.