Integrated watershed management for increasing productivity and water-use efficiency in semi-arid tropical India uri icon


  • Poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition are pervasive in the serm-arid trOpICS (SAT)of South Asia, including India. I n rural areas, most of the poor make their livelihoodson the use of natural resources, which are degraded and inefficiently used. This isbecause of the inadequate traditional management practIces of managing agricultureas well as the fact that resulting crop yields are much below the expected potentialyields. ICRlSAT in the early 1970s initiated research on watersheds for integrated useof land, water, and crop management technologies for increasmg crop productionthrough efficient use of natural resources, especially ramfal! that is highly variable inthe SAT and is the main cause of year-to-year variation in crop production ill India.Improved watershed management on Vertisols more than doubled crop productivity,and rainfall-use efficiency increased from 35% to 70% when compared wlth traditionaltechnology. After many years of implementmg and evaluating these improvedtechnologies in on-farm situations, many lessons were learned and they formed partof the mtegrated watershed management model currently being pursued by ICRlSATin conununity watersheds in rural settings. This watershed model is more holistic andputs rural communities and theIr collective actions at center stage for implementingimproved watershed technologies with technical backstopping and convergenceby consortium partners. We describe here the achievements made in enhancing cropproductivity and rainfall-use efficiency by implementing improved technologies in onfarmcommunity watersheds in India

publication date

  • 2010