Lying in the north eastern limits of Gujarat state, the districts of Panchmahals and Dahod form part of the Central Highlands characterised by rain-fed conditions. The forestlands are the predominant category of land in the region, and the dry deciduous forests once widespread across the area are largely degraded. The area is listed under Schedule V category considering that it has a significant population belonging to Bhil tribes. Almost 80% of the population lives below the poverty line and with limited wage opportunities, migration and indebtedness are very common.
This project involves watershed planning on 3,000 hectares of land, stretched across seven villages of Santrampur block of Panchmahals district in Gujarat, which include both off-farm and on-farm interventions to improve the productivity of farm lands as well as the commons. Further, this project aims to assist the tribal communities in effectively integrating agriculture and natural resource management, and regulating the demand for biomass and water through rules, regulations and mechanisms evolved by community institutions at village and inter-village levels. Special focus is on enhancing the participation of community members, especially the poor and marginalised, in the planning and implementation of watershed development work in the region.
The project is supported by NABARD under the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP). The IGWDP is an integrated programme for rehabilitation of watersheds for the regeneration of natural resources. The programme is implemented by the Village Watershed Committees (VWC- a body nominated by villagers), in association with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)