The Rural Development Institute in Andhra Pradesh

Current Activities

  • The Andhra Pradesh government, in partnership with RDI, is improving and expanding the paralegal programme that helps poor families obtain land rights to the land they currently reside on. Once they become landowners, they can invest in their future and access government services to pull themselves out of poverty.
  • The government is working with RDI to revise tenancy laws to allow women to lease agri­cultural land. Research shows that the state’s current restrictive tenancy legislation both reduces agricultural efficiency and restricts land access for the poor.
  • Government departments and RDI are studying the needs of Andhra Pradesh’s poorest citizens, including it tribal groups, to make recommendations for sustainable solutions.
  • Officials and RDI continue to train Community Resource Persons who help identify the poor and landless in their own communities and help them with initial applications to government programmes. These local field assistants are cost-effective and have deep knowledge of the community, which allows our partners to expedite the work and bring it to scale quick.

READ: NALSAR and RDI Establish Exclusive Centre for Land Rights

History

The government’s development of the Community Resource Person model, which provides quick and low-cost implementation of legal aid work, has become a model in other Indian states including Odisha. Fourteen percent of rural households in Andhra Pradesh do not own any agricultural land or homestead¹. More than fifteen percent of the population lives in poverty².

The state receives technical and advisory support from RDI on designing and implementing laws, policies, and programmes that provide the poor with secure land rights. Secure land rights boosts nutrition and school enrollment and reduces conflict. When distributed broadly, land ownership becomes a fundamental building block for the development of prosperous and peaceful societies.

READ: The first edition of Bhoomi, a newsletter on land rights.

¹ Source: Ownership Holdings of Land in Rural India: Putting the Record Straight by Vikas Rawal – Special Article EPW, Issue March 8, 2008
² Source: Planning Commission & National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) Data, 61st Round