Improving management of natural resources for sustainable rainfed agriculture in asia: an overview uri icon


  • Limiting natural resources, erratic rainfall, land degradation, soil erosion, poverty, and burgeoningpopulation characterize the dry regions in Asia. Over-exploitation of natural resources in these areas to meet the ever-increasing demand for food and fuel of rapidly growing population has led to environmental degradation and calls for initiation of immediate steps for optimal utilization of natural resources based on the potential and limitations. To develop sustainable natural resource management options for increasing the agricultural productivity and income of rural poor in these dry regions, a new integrated farmer participatory watershed management model was developed by ICRISAT along with NARS partners. This holistic approach includes new science tools, linking on-station research to on-farm watersheds, technical backstopping through consortium of institutions with convergence of livelihood-based activities. This new model was applied at selected benchmark locations in Asia by ICRISAT in partnership with NARS through execution of the project ?Improving Management of Natural Resources for Sustainable Rainfed Agriculture in Asia?. The broad objectives of the project were to enhance and sustain the productivity of medium and high water-holding capacity soils in the intermediate rainfall ecoregions of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and to develop environment-friendly soil and water resource management practices. Onstation benchmark locations served as sites for strategic research and on-farm benchmark watershedsserved as farmer-managed sites for farmer participatory refinement and evaluation of sustainable naturalresource management options under varying socioeconomic and bio-physical situations. The on-farm watersheds were provided with technical backstopping from ICRISAT and other consortium institutions. The monitoring and impact assessment in these locations reflected a higher technology adoption of improved soil and water conservation practices, and nutrient and pest management with increased productivity and incomes

publication date

  • 2003