Investing in Livestock Development in Water-Scarce Semi-Arid Watersheds: Technological, Institutional and Policy Dimensions
Watershed Development Programmes (WDPs) in India were conceived as tools for correcting the regional imbalances in agricultural development created by Green Revolution, through investments in soil and water conservation (SWC) and natural resource management (NRM) in rainfed areas. Though the overall impact of WDPs has been positive and significant, with increase in physical and economic access to groundwater, landless and marginal households hardly benefited from watershed development. Recent evidence points out that in many watersheds inequities increased, since for non-land owning and -well owning households access to drinking water, grazing lands and other natural resources decreased. This paper is based on a research project carried out by the International water Management Institute, South Asia in India during 2002-2005, which attempted to document and understand the livestock-environment-livelihood interactions in watersheds in semi-arid India. This paper elucidates the important role of livestock in livelihoods of communities in water-scarce watersheds and demonstrates that unless livestock interventions are consciously and astutely planned, with due consideration to protecting livelihoods and environment, WDPs might not result in equitable benefits. Limited access to livestock-related institutional services and social organization does not contribute to sustainable livestock-livelihood-environment interactions. The paper highlights the major role that technological and institutional factors play in bringing about the livestock development that would impact positively on livelihoods and the accompanying policy changes that are necessary.
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- Kerr, John, 2002. "Watershed Development, Environmental Services, and Poverty Alleviation in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1387-1400, August.
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