SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WATERSHED MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDYManjeet Singh and Urmila
The available estimates indicate that nearly 174 mha, representing 53% of the total geographical area of the country are subjected to some form of soil erosion and land degradation. The watershed management of sound principles of soil and water conservation is the only way to reversing this trend of land degradation (Ahuja, R. 2005). Keeping this in view effort has been made to prepare a watershed management plan for Kesharpura village, district Pratapgarh taking the economical and financial parameters into consideration in order to achieve maximum output, from the resources available. This watershed is typical of the Aravalli foot hills of southern Rajasthan having the problems of overgrazing and denudation of hill slopes leading to severe soil erosion, improper crop management, insufficient utilization of rainwater etc. Keeping this is view, out of total area of the watershed of 630 ha., 590 ha., land is proposed to be put under soil and water conservation techniques. The whole area was divided into 12 blocks and each block was considered as a separate unit. The proposed technology comprises of Puerto Rico terrace in 97.18 ha., stone wall terrace in 66.16 ha. and a afforestation in 85.30 ha. To increase the crop productivity per unit area improved crop management technology suitable for the area has been proposed. Crop yields are expected to increase by nearly two times with the proposed package of practices and soil and water conservation measures. These measures will not only increase crop production per unit area but will greatly help in improving socioeconomic status of the tribal farmers. Taking into consideration the investment life of the project as 10 years the benefit cost ratio works out to be 1.64:1 and 1.31:1 as per financial and economical evaluation, respectively.
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