Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture: The Transformative Potential of Watershed Development

Sachin Saharan

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Janardan Singh

Department of Organic Agriculture and Natural Farming, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Rahul Sharma *

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Akshay Singh

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Kunal Narwal

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Bharat Bhushan Rana

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Saroj Kumari

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

Divya Prashar

Department of Agronomy, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Out of the 1.5 billion ha (11% of the world’s land surface of 13.4 billion ha) of cropland worldwide, 1.20 (80%) billion ha is rainfed, and 60 percent of the world’s food comes from rainfed areas.  In India, rainfed agriculture occupies about 51 percent of the country’s net sown area and accounts for nearly 40 percent of the total food production.  In HP, over 10% area of the state is under cultivation, of which about 81% is rainfed, facing frequent water scarcity.  Watershed development constitutes a holistic strategy aimed at enhancing the resilience and productivity of rainfed farming systems.  This approach integrates various interventions targeting soil and water conservation, afforestation, agricultural practices, and socio-economic empowerment of local communities.  The essence of watershed development lies in its comprehensive and participatory nature, which addresses the complex interactions among hydrological, ecological, and socio-economic factors influencing rainfed agriculture.  Through the implementation of watershed management techniques, such as contour bunding, check dams and afforestation, soil erosion is minimized, water resources are conserved, and micro-climatic conditions are ameliorated.  Concurrently, sustainable agricultural practices, including agroforestry, conservation agriculture, and water harvesting techniques, are promoted to enhance farm productivity and diversify livelihood options for farmers.  Moreover, watershed development programs prioritize community involvement and capacity building, fostering local ownership and empowerment.  This abstract elucidates the multifaceted benefits of watershed development in revamping rainfed farming systems, emphasizing its potential to mitigate environmental degradation, enhance agricultural resilience, and improve rural livelihoods.

Keywords: Watershed development, rainfed farming, soil and water conservation, sustainable agriculture, community participation


How to Cite

Saharan, Sachin, Janardan Singh, Rahul Sharma, Akshay Singh, Kunal Narwal, Bharat Bhushan Rana, Saroj Kumari, and Divya Prashar. 2024. “Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture: The Transformative Potential of Watershed Development”. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science 36 (7):969-87. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijpss/2024/v36i74809.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.