Newsroom  Press releases  2003

30) ADB renews funding for ICRISAT watershed project (20 February 2003)

Impressed by the success of the first phase, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund $1.3 million (Rs 6.17 crore) to support the second phase of the watershed development project coordinated by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

China has been included as a project country in the second phase, which will run from January 2003 to end 2005. In the first phase benchmark watersheds were identified and development projects implemented in them in India, Thailand and Vietnam.

The project will continue to be implemented by involving a consortium of stakeholders – scientific organizations, agricultural universities, non-governmental organizations and farmers.

According to Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, "The consortium approach ensures the involvement of all the stakeholders making the implementation more effective. The sustainability of the developmental activities is also higher since the project focuses on obtaining tangible financial gains for the individual farmers."

Financial gain for farmers was achieved by concentrating on getting better returns in individual farms from soil and water conservation measures. Once the farmers saw increased productivity from their individual lands, they came forward to cooperate to create community assets.

The project also led to strategic partnerships. Said Dr HP Singh, Director of the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture: "The effective strategic partnerships created for this project has resulted in its success, since watershed development involves dealing with a complex set of biophysical and socio-economic issues."

The ADB-funded project aims at using watershed development for increasing rural incomes and minimizing environmental degradation.

For further information contact Dr SP Wani at s(dot)wani(at)cgiar(dot)org.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.