Ankapur, a role model for Telangana villages

Known as the Seed Bowl of Telangana, Ankapur has been declared as a Model Village in terms of its agricultural development by the State government and also earned recognition from national and international agricultural research bodies such as the ICAR, ICRISAT and the International Rice Research Institute.

Rich farmers who have earned global praise for their effective agricultural practices, and a strong NRI population, have made Ankapur self-sufficient. A small, self-sufficient and agriculturally rich village, Ankapur is a model for all villages in Telangana. Located in Armoor mandal on NH-63, 20 kilometres away from the district headquarters, the village is also known as ‘mini USA’ due to all the urban facilities it boasts of.

Farmers here are famous for having adopted modern farming methods in cultivating commercial crops like turmeric, maize and vegetables on a large scale. They cultivate commercial crops, as opposed to traditional ones like paddy, in a district now known to be the rice bowl of Telangana.

Farmers are well aware of how to adopt modern methods to augment their output amid scanty rainfall, and they therefore never look at governments for succour even in the worst of scenarios. Hence, more than 75 per cent farmers who took crop and other agriculture loans have already repaid the banks without seeking a waiver.

The village has earned recognition from national and international agricultural research bodies such as the ICAR, ICRISAT and the International Rice Research Institute. This, probably, is only the village in Telangana that has a separate web portal created by its NRIs.

“We have over 500 educated youth either working or pursuing higher studies in the USA, the UK, the UAE and other countries. The village has sound financial strength with the money sent by them, besides agricultural income,” says Challa Ananta Reddy, chairman of Village Development Committee.

So much so that the village has attracted the attention of national banks whose branches now hold nearly `40 crore worth of deposits by the residents. Meanwhile, it is home to over 20 seed processing units, whose produce is distributed across the country. However, recently the intensive agricultural practices were taking a toll on its water resources.

Women work hard here and even though no household owns more than 10 acres of land, they produce a maximum output. During one bumper harvest, farmers were said to have purchased so many new cars with the remuneration from crops.There are 22 seed processing units in the village. The red jowar seed developed here is exported to northern India. Seed companies like Pioneer, Pro-Agro, Ganga Kaveri, Kaveri, Tulasi and Nuziveedu have processing units in the village. These companies have mitigated the problem of unemployment to a large extent.

It is no exaggeration if one says that the village has no thatched houses and huts. Inhabited by 5,689 people (as per 2011 Census), the village has 1,520 households and over 2,000 acres of cultivable land. This could be one among a few villages which has a less number of white ration cards, according to Village Revenue Officer.

The Village Development Committee  plays a pivotal role for the discipline and development of the village, says M.C. Ganga Reddy, president of the Rythu Sangham.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, had praised it and doled out several sops, while also appealing to other villages to emulate Ankapur for its self-sufficiency.

Now, it is the Central government that has its eyes set on Ankapur’s water management, so it can be turned into a Model Village for water conservation as well.