Impact of Watershed Development in Low Rainfall Region of Maharashtra: A Case Study of Shekta Watershed.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 49

Sreedevi, T K and Wani, S P and Sudi, R and Deshmukh, H K and Singh, S N and D'Souza, M (2008) Impact of Watershed Development in Low Rainfall Region of Maharashtra: A Case Study of Shekta Watershed.Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report no. 49. Monograph. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics , Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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We sincerely thank the help of Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR), Ahmednagar, various officers and staff of watershed departments, village watershed committee members and farmers for providing necessary inputs during the field visits. We also thank Drs Farhat Shaheen of SKUAST-K, Srinagar and AK Jha of Rajendra Agricultural University, Samasthipur, India, for reviewing the manuscript and providing constructive comments, Ms N Srilakshmi and Mr KNV Satyanarayana for pagesetting, Ms Shalini N for editorial assistance and staff of Communication Office for production of this report. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by Government of India through Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Rural Development for the Comprehensive Assessment of Watershed Programs in India.


Rainfed agriculture has an important role in development of agriculture in India and it will also continue to play in the future as 60% arable land in the country is rainfed. Watershed development is an important strategy for sustainable development of drylands. Impact assessment of Shekta Watershed in Ahmednagar District, a rain shadow region of Sahyadris in Maharashtra was undertaken as a micro-level case study. The region receives low rainfall (465 mm/yr), is drought prone, poverty is wide spread and migration from rural areas is common in this watershed village. The watershed development approach evaluated a capacity building phase, demand driven and net planning with each family. Exactly 59% of the watershed area was treated with soil and water conservation measures spending 38.6% (Rs. 1.1 million) development budget and 32.6% on rainwater harvesting structures. Groundwater availability has substantially increased as evident from the 48% increase in number of wells, increase in number of seasonally and perennially active wells, increase in crop productivity of 3.6 to 189% over district average yield for different crops, increase in cropping intensity by 28% from 1998-99 to 2004-05 was observed. Diversified farming systems with high-value crops such as wheat and vegetables as well as livelihood sources such as livestock rearing and micro-enterprise benefited people in terms of increased crop yields, income, improved livelihoods and reduced seasonal migration by 60%. Watershed development was economically beneficial with a benefit cost ratio (BCR) of 1.5 with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 16% along with development of rural institutions and protection of the environment.

Item Type: Monograph (Monograph)
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2011 11:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2011 11:14
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