Guidelines for Planning and Implementation of Watershed Development Program in India: A Review.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 48

Raju, K V and Aziz, A and Sundaram, S S M and Sekher, M and Wani, S P and Sreedevi, T K (2008) Guidelines for Planning and Implementation of Watershed Development Program in India: A Review.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 48. Monograph. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics , Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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Abstract

Various impact assessment studies of the watershed development program have indicated that guidelines for planning and implementation of watershed development programs in India are evolving and updated over the years for enhancing the program’s impact. During the Comprehensive Assessment of Watershed Programs in India undertaken by the ICRISAT-led consortium, guidelines for planning and implementation covering village selection, community participation, planning process, disbursement of funds, sustainability and equity issues, implementation process, institutions, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation options were studied and the way forward is reported. Watershed development is identified as an excellent approach for developing all rain-fed regions (arid, semi-arid and sub-humid tropics). It is recommended that watersheds be developed in clusters so that those micro-watersheds larger than 1200 ha could be developed. For prioritization of watersheds, emphasis should be on high proportion of rain-fed areas, low GDP (more poverty), prime constraint of water scarcity (drinking and agriculture), low crop yields and proneness to severe land degradation. For enchaining community participation, a knowledge-based entry point activity (EPA) is proposed in place of cash-based EPA with cooperation and collegiate mode of community participation rather than contractual mode of participation. Participatory planning involving farmers, landless people and women is recommended in place of ad-hoc planning process. Increased allocation of Rs. 20,000 per ha for holistic watershed development encompassing productivity enhancement and livelihood activities in addition to soil and water conservation activities with an implementation period of 7-8 years are recommended. Timely release of funds could be achieved by direct release of the funds to the district watershed coordination committee from the national level. Capacity building is identified as the weakest link for scaling-up the benefits of watershed programs in the country. Capacity building through quality service providers by adopting the consortium approach is recommended. Similarly, monitoring and evaluation should be undertaken by qualified and trained staff only using simple and limited indicators in all the watersheds. Detailed monitoring, which needs technical inputs could be done only at benchmark watersheds in target-ecoregions/district by qualified technical institutes. Appropriate strengthening of community-based institutions with proper training and hand-holding through quality capacity building efforts would go a long way to enhanc the impact and sustainability of watershed programs to address the issues of equity, construction of low-cost rainwater harvesting structures throughout the toposequence along with in-situ conservation measures including productivity enhancement, to benefit small-scale land holders.

Item Type: Monograph (Monograph)
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
CRP: UNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 10:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2011 10:36
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/2353
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