The districts of Panchmahal and Dahod lie in the north eastern part of Gujarat and form part of the Central Highlands characterised by rain-fed conditions. The topography of the region is largely undulating with low hills dominating the landscape. The forestlands are the predominant category of land in the region, and the dry deciduous forests once widespread across the area are largely degraded. Miniscule landholdings, poor farm productivity and increasing frequency of drought has led to a total collapse of local livelihoods and coping mechanisms of the tribal community across the region leaving them little choice other than to migrate.
This project involves watershed planning over a few thousand hectares of land in the rain-fed areas of Dahod and Panchmahal districts, which include both off-farm and on-farm interventions to improve the productivity of farm lands as well as the commons. Enhanced biomass and water availability through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures, and revegetation of common lands would go a long way in boosting agricultural productivity and animal husbandry. Further, this project aims to assist 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.
National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)