WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN INDIA: AN EVALUATION

The Green Revolution that transformed irrigated agriculture elsewhere in India had little effect in the rainfed, semi-arid regions. Agricultural productivity remained low, natural resources were degrading, and the people were poor. In the 1980s and 1990s, planners turned to watershed management to develop rainfed agriculture while conserving natural resources. By the late 1990s, India was spending US$500 million a year on watershed development projects. Strategies ranged from the purely technical to those that emphasized social organization. Little systematic analysis exists, however, on the success of the different approaches. This study, based on a survey of 86 villages in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra states, attempts to fill that information gap by evaluating the projects' relative success in raising agricultural productivity, improving natural resource management, and reducing poverty. In looking at the question of what approaches enable a project to succeed, it uses both quantitative and qualitative analysis to compare project and nonproject villages before and after the projects were implemented. The authors find that projects involving the villagers in planning and decision-making performed better than their technocratic, top-down counterparts, but projects that combined participation with sound technical input performed best of all. All projects faced difficulties in ensuring that poor people shared the benefits of watershed development.


Issue Date:
2002
Publication Type:
Report
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/16537
Total Pages:
86
Series Statement:
Research Report 127




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-11-19

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