29) "Rainwater-use efficiency can be increased up to 70 percent" -- ICRISAT (May 2000)

"Twenty-seven years of research at ICRISAT shows that rainwater-use efficiency can be increased up to 70 percent if rainwater is managed properly by adopting an integrated watershed management approach", said Dr William D Dar, Director General, ICRISAT, at ICRISAT-Patancheru today. He was addressing a study group of senior officials and executives of the Government of India and various Public Sector Undertakings, led by Ms Lakshmi Parthasarathy, Vice-Chair, Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA), who visited the Patancheru campus to get first-hand exposure to ICRISAT's strategies for rainwater harvesting. This visit was a follow-up action to the meeting on the Rainwater-Harvesting Mission held by the Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Chandrababu Naidu on 9 May at Jubilee Hall, Hyderabad. Distinguished members of the study group included Dr A K Goyal, Director General, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), and representatives from Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Osmania University, National Institute for Rural Development, Geological Survey of India, and NGOs.

"Our basic strategy is to conserve rainfall in community watersheds, and efficient use of natural resources such as water, soil, and vegetation in the watershed to increase the system's productivity and mitigate the adverse effects of natural calamities such as excess rains or severe droughts" Dr Dar said. He emphasized ICRISAT's mission of improving the livelihoods of the millions of resource-poor farmers who live in the semi-arid tropics, through increasing the productivity of rainfed agriculture by the development of improved, high-yielding crop varieties, and improved and efficient management of natural resources.

Ms Lakshmi Parthasarathy then gave the gathering a brief overview of the Rainwater Harvesting Mission, and the Study-group's findings so far of the measures of rainwater harvesting being undertaken by various organizations and institutes in and around Hyderabad. "These visits have proved to be a real learning experience," she said, "and we look forward to the insights we are sure to gain at ICRISAT".

The Study group toured the ICRISAT watershed, and senior scientists and staff explained the construction, structure, and function of the many water-conservation measures taken by the Institute. A seminar was held in the afternoon during which more details were given of ICRISAT's integrated watershed research.

Mr S Parthasarathy, Assistant Director General, ICRISAT, thanked all the participants of the day's events and reiterated ICRISAT's commitment to research partnerships in natural resources management.

For more details on ICRISAT's drought-research, click here.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.