Dindigul: Gandhigram Trust plans special watershed project

DINDIGUL: A special watershed development project will be implemented by the Gandhigram Trust at Thottanuthu village an estimated cost of Rs.62.56 lakh with community participation. The trust will act as facilitator and only villagers will implement the entire project, in three years.

Under the project, the trust will take up soil and water conservation activities on 1,018 hectares. Other components of the project include soil and water conservation measures in rain-fed areas and community development intervention such as training and demonstration, livelihood support for landless people and rural women in 12 habitations at this village.

Village Watershed Committees will be formed for executing all works. Field bund, field bund outlet, 14 farm ponds, farm pond outlet, farm pond silt trap trench, water absorption trench, agro-forestry, agro-horticulture, pasture development, grass seeding, sunken pond, check weir, loose boulder structures and percolation pond will be created in these habitations.

Income generation activities will be intensified by roping in landless and rural women as part of livelihood support, some prime components of the project. Mushroom cultivation, rearing of country chicken and stall-fed goat and animal feed production will be some of the income generation activities.

Trust Associate secretary K. Shivakumar said that the community would contribute 16 per cent of the total project cost for watershed activities. It will enhance involvement of local watershed community. Separate planning would be done for each and every field according to the needs of farmers in every watershed. The Village Watershed Committee would prepare an action plan for three years and submit it to the Joint Director of Agriculture. The funds will directly go to the water shed Committee for implementation, he added.

“District Watershed Development Agency will monitor the project activities regularly.” Moreover, the funds could not be drawn without the approval of the nine-member village water shed committee, comprising a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary as office-bearers and other members. Members should be chosen from the water shed area only. Besides, 30 per cent of the members would be women.

“We will adopt the approach of ‘ridge to valley’ in executing the project. To begin with, treatment of land in upper reaches will be taken up before taking up development works at lower reaches. Simple and low cost conservation measures will also be adopted in the watershed to enable the community to emulate easily and execute it in other areas, if necessary,”

From THE HINDU

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Tamilnadu-Namakkal: 16 watersheds created to boost rainfed agriculture

The scheme insists on Participatory Rural Appraisal exercise 

NAMAKKAL: To boost production under rainfed agriculture, 16 watersheds at an outlay of Rs 57.03 crore have been created in 9,505 hectares in Tiruchengode taluk in the district under the National Watershed Development Programme in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) of the Union government.

As the bulk of rural poor are living in rainfed areas, the government has accorded highest priority to the holistic and sustainable development of rain-fed agriculture through Watershed Development approach based on the twin concepts of Integrated Watershed Management and Sustainable Farming System and also creation of sustained employment opportunities for the rural community including the landless.

Water Resource Development scheme

Water Resource Development scheme

These watersheds in Tiruchengode covering 30 villages will be executed by the Project Implementing Agency (PIA) comprising of an Assistant Executive Engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department and Assistant Director of Agriculture, Agriculture Department, Tiruchengode.

To prepare the project report, the scheme also insists on a strong Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercise.

NGOs invited

To assist and carry out the PRA exercises, two non-governmental organisations have also been invited to take part.

A PRA exercise meeting was carried out in Karumapuram watershed recently in which the President of the Karumapuram Panchayat, N. Jagannathan, along with local farmers took part.

The people shared their views with officials and emphasised on the local knowledge. People’s own appraisal was sought, analysed and later would be put into practice.

The exercise meeting widely discussed many problems, observed the facts directly on the field and discussed the solutions with the affected people.

The concepts of better utilization of available resources and the need to identify and prioritise the needs of locals were discussed.

Social mapping and Natural Resources mapping were constructed on the ground by the villagers in front of the Karumapuram Panchayat Office to offer an impression of the social and physical lay-out of the village as perceived by the villagers themselves.

After completion of all activities, each watershed development project was expected to achieve various measures for sustainable farming including development of drainage lines, participation of user groups in arable and non-arable lands, maintenance of assets etc.

Orientation

Orientation was given to improve their knowledge and upgrade technical/ management and community organisational skills to a level that was appropriate for the successful discharge of capabilities.

The PRA meeting was attended by officials. S. Durai, Joint Director of Agriculture, Namakkal presided over the PRA meeting.

A. Prabaharan, Deputy Director of Agriculture, A. Krishnamoorthi, Assistant Executive Engineer, District Watershed Development Agency, B. Muralidharan, Assistant Director of Agriculture and K. Ramachandran, Agricultural Officer were also present. Villagers took part in a social mapping exercise of their village.

From THE HINDU