Elaborate the impact of National Watershed Project in increasing agricultural production from water stress areas.
The National Watershed Project implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development is an umbrella scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana. The initiative aims to enhance the water availability in the watershed areas.
Increasing Agricultural Productivity
The objectives of the National Watershed project are so defined to have a clear impact through enhancing the productivity of agriculture. The following objectives of the programmes make a direct and indirect impact to increase agricultural productivity:
- Conservation, development and sustainable management of natural resources including their use.
- Enhancement of agricultural productivity and production in a sustainable manner.
- Restoration of ecological balance in the degraded and fragile rainfed ecosystems by greening these areas through appropriate mix of trees, shrubs and grasses.
The following activities are undertaken under the project which promotes agricultural productivity:
- Treatment of non-arable lands for soil and moisture conservation and biomass production through afforestation, horticulture and pasture development.
- Treatment of arable lands for better in-situ soil and moisture conservation and to enhance production through cost-effective, sustainable and replicable cropping techniques with minimum infrastructure and soil conservation measures.
- Adoption of alternative land use to prevent ploughing of steep slopes and thereby reducing runoff and soil erosion by taking up horticulture, silviculture and silvipasture.
- Development of water resources and improve the recharge of underground aquifers.
The National Watershed Project various soil and water conversation measures such as conservation of moisture, vegetative filter strips upstream of diversion drains, contour vegetation hedges supported by trenches/ridges or bunds with small cross-section on sloping areas have been performed in various states. All these contribute to increasing agricultural productivity by enhancing the efficiency of resource utilization and better water management practices.