Need More and Better Watershed Projects: Minister

Published: 04th September 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2014 05:38 AM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda on Wednesday said dryland farmers continue to face problems despite the State and the Centre spending on dryland irrigation.

He  was speaking after inaugurating a three-day workshop on best practices under integrated watershed management programme (IWMP). The event is being jointly organised by the Department of Land Resources, the Ministry of Rural Development, the Government of India and the Watershed Department of Karnataka.

“For every acre, `1.5 lakh is invested in irrigation. The state government gives a power subsidy of `7,000 crore. The Centre spends on fertilisers and farm mechanism but still, dryland farmers are stressed. The best designs under the watershed programme remain on paper,” Byregowda rued.

Vandana Kumari Jena, Secretary, Department of Land Resources (GoI), said there is a need to strengthen the management information system (MIS) for flagship programmes. “Under the watershed management department, this particular MIS should be made robust like in the case of the National Rural Health Mission. The workshop should be made an annual affair to exchange ideas,” she said.

Latha Krishna Rau, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner (GoK), said funds and support should reach the farmers on time.

Also, publications related to the Watershed Development Department were released on the occasion.

Hand in Hand With Farmers

As per the Common Guidelines-2008 prepared by the National Rainfed Area Authority under the Planning Commission, the State government has implemented watershed development schemes in 25.66 lakh hectares with an outlay of `3315.87 crore from 2009 to 2014, covering 5,675 micro watersheds.

Major activities covered under this programme are terracing, bunding, trenching, vegetative barriers, construction of rainwater harvesting structures like check dams and percolation tanks, sowing seeds of multipurpose trees, pasture development, livelihood activities for landless people and micro-enterprises.

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