Soil & Water Conservation

KVK intervention in Participatory Integrated Development of Watersheds in Erode District


Watershed development in India is a people movement for development of land and water resources, and for enhancing productivity on a sustainable manner. The watershed approach enables an integrated development of agriculture and allied activities in the needy area. In watershed area it is necessary to build the people institutions at village level for social compatibility and sustainability of the program. The KVK used the experiences of the host organization’s involvement in participatory watershed development dates back to 1984-85, beginning with the PIDOW project (Participatory Integrated Development of Watersheds) in Gulbarga of Karnataka.

In 1991-92, Krishi Vigyan Kendra started to work on individual land development activities and construction of some watershed structures here and there. By 1993 the KVK initiated its effort to promote participatory integrated watershed program in oosimalai in Bargur hills, through a process of learning by doing, the Kendra now associated with more than 44 watersheds in Erode Dt through appropriate people institutions.

District information:

The Erode district has been divided into 4 agricultural divisions namely Erode, Gobichettipalayam, Bhavani and Dharapuram of which MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s watershed intervention is in the part of Bhavani and Dharapuram.

The total area of the forest is 2, 32,920 hectares (28.3% of the total district area.) of which, 94% of the area lies in Talavadi, Anthiyur, Sathyamangalam and Bargur where interventions are predominantly executed.

The district receives about 600mm rainfall in about 36 rainy days, majority of which is received during North East Monsoon.

Soil series of the implemented watershed areas:

  • Talavadi Series- Moderately deep to deep red, non calcareous, slightly acidic, Insitu soils developed from highly weathered gneiss.
  • Irugur Series – Dark Reddish brown to Red moderately deep, neutral, non- Calcareous, slightly acidic, Insitu soils developed from highly Weathered gneiss.
  • Vannapatti series – Very slightly acidic to neutral, moderately deep-to-deep, Insitu soils

Basic criteria for selection of watershed area:

  • Severity of Land degradation
  • Preponderance of resource poor people.
  • Lack of earlier investment through any other watershed development projects
  • Willingness of community to participate in all aspects of the program.

Outreach of Kendra experiences in Watershed:

  • 1996 – 2000 Kendra experimented with 17 watershed using participatory approaches in the concept of “ learning – by – doing ”.
  • 2000-2003 Kendra is able to replicate the experiences in 21 watersheds funded by Government of India i.e., IWDP Phase – II and X Restructured NWDPRA Program.
  • Kendra is identified as one of the autonomous support organization in order to impart various Knowledge Attitude Skills (KAS) to PIA‘s for effective implementation of X Restructured NWDPRA Program carrying the concept of “teaching – by – doing “.

Dissemination of participatory approach in the integrated watershed management in Restructured National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Area (NWDPRA)

Participatory approach in the integrated watershed project is quite suitable for the sustainable management of soil and water conservation measures, land development, agriculture crop production, development of horticulture and livestock. This provides employment opportunities for landless people in a particular delineated micro watershed. In the year 1994, Government of India came forward to implement the watershed in India by using this approach based on the recommendation of Dr. Hanumandrao committee, after conducting various visits and studies made on the watershed projects implemented by the state and central government and the experiences shared by the NGO like Myrada in the watershed program with people participation since 1984. In this approach, the living people in the delineated micro watershed would be involved right from the beginning of the project activities like planning, implementation, resource mobilization, monitoring, management of the resource and evaluation.

Many problems are encountered in the effective participation of people in all the above said aspects. They are;

  1. Lack of organization, finance and motivation
  2. Low adoption of dry land technologies
  3. Dependency and high expectation from others
  4. Insufficient technical knowledge
  5. The Problem of common resource management and equitable sharing benefits.
  6. Inadequate involvement of departments (where the lands situated in the upper reaches)
  7. Securing the cooperation of all farmers
  8. Inadequate efforts to involve women in planning and management
  9. The question of landless people and their livelihoods.

In order to address these issues, building the people institutions in a micro watershed (watershed association, watershed committee, area/user groups and self help affinity groups) give the capacity building to these institutions which are most important that “Myrada KVK” strongly believes and succeeded in the implementation of watershed projects with people participation.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra is one of the PIA in Erode District for 10 micro watershed (500 ha) at Talavadi block. Based on that, Commissionerate of Agriculture of Tamilnadu asked Krishi Vigyan Kendra to conduct 3 days training cum exposure program for the entire district that Restructured NWDPRA is being implemented. The participants in each team consist of government department staff, WDT members, members of watershed associations, area/user groups and SHAG were undergone this program at Arivalayam Training center at Talamalai. During the training program, the main features of restructured NWDPRA, importance of people institutions in watershed in terms of planning, implementation, resource mobilization, monitoring, evaluation and sustainable management of watershed resource and visit to SHAG promoted by Myrada were covered.