Project to rejuvenate watersheds on the anvil

The State government proposes to implement a new World Bank-assisted multi-State watershed project — REWARD (Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agriculture Resilience through Innovative Development) — in the drought-prone districts of Anantapur, Chittoor, YSR Kadapa, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam.

The main objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of national and State institutions to implement science-based watershed development for improving farmers’ resilience and soil moisture outcomes in selected watersheds .

The total proposed cost of the project is $ 28 million (₹200 crore), out of which the World Bank assistance IBRD/IDA is $16 million (₹140 crores) and State government’s share is $ 12 million (₹ 60 crore).

The duration of the project is for a period of six years from 2020-21 to 2026-27.

The major activities to be taken up under the project include developing resource inventory (LRI), hydrological assessment and ground water monitoring database in around two lakh hectares and to develop a model watershed in around 0.5 lakh hectares in 14 pilot projects of 52 micro watersheds based on LRI and hydrology recommendations.

The project also aims at distributing LRI cards and/or weather-based agro-advisory information to one lakh small/marginal farmers in the project area and to strengthen the farmer producer organisation/collectives with forward and/or backward value chain linkages.

Saturation mode

The project also helps in scientific implementation of watershed programme in saturation mode by utilising hydrological data, LRI data, RS and GIS techniques.

The State government will partner with Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), Andhra Pradesh Space Applications Centre (APSAC), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Tirupati, and National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land use planning (NBSS&LUP).

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