Department of Tribal Welfare Government of Andhra Pradesh
This Project depicts the shifting cultivation in the Northern coastal area of Andhra Pradesh. This monograph consists total seven chapters. The historical background, different regional terms of podu cultivation and types of podu cultivations described in the introduction chapter. The study has been selected in the ITDA areas Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh where the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Projects assisted by ITDA was proposed for rehabilitation total of 12 villages were selected on the basis of magnitude of shifting cultivation in each area. The total sample of 479 households in the selected villages covered under the study. The study reveals, it is estimated that the total extent of podu in the Project Area is 41,459 hectares cultivated by 50001 shifting cultivators in 2366 villages. The average podu per family constitute 0.83 hectares. The location of podu land reveals an interesting feature in each ITDA area. Most of the Podu lands in Seethampeta area are located on hill slopes (92.7%), out of 479 tribal families in the sample villages 434 are entirely or partially depending on podu land constituting 90.60% to the families. Researchers also explained in details of the cycle of shifting cultivation. i.e selection of podu land and different stages (cutting the trees or bushes and drying, burning of fielded trees, spreading of ashes, digging of podu, broadcasting of seeds, weeding and clearing and harvesting. The study also identified various ceremonies and rituals and propitious numerous deities associated with Podu cultivation. The most important religious functionaries with their specific roles in the ceremonies associated with Podu cultivation are discussed in this report. Disari, Pujari, Pejjeni or Pejjeni buddi, Tromba, Buyya, Kudoo are religious functionaries in the field area. The tribals celebrate various festivals during their podu operations like Etela panduga (kothamasa), Bicca parbu, Hira parbu, Arya parbu, Junaga parbu, Kumda parbu, Korra sama kathi, Jokuri and Durga worship, Kondi kotha in the selected area. The study also reveals the 479 families with 2125 members of which the number of males is 1079 while that of females 1036 were studied. The literacy level is 6.16% in the sample population. The analysis of occupational matters shows that 95.7% of the tribals are engaged in agricultural activity and 4.3% are depending on non-agricultural activity. This project also focused on the aspects of landholding, income of the families, expenditure and indebtedness among the tribals in the study area. The Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Project aims at providing food security through natural resources development to the scheduled Tribal families living in environmentally vulnerable hill slopes within the ITDA areas of Seethampeta, Parvathipuram, Paderu and Rampachodavaram over a period of seven years and five specific objectives mentioned in the project. The targeted area for podu rehabilitation consists of 16 menter sheds and 19 Mandals in four ITDAs and comprises of 2077 villages with 63,371 families.