Watershed management is scientific utilization of natural and human resources of a manageable hydrological unit to sustain production system, which can meet the socio - economic need of the people, and to maintain health, vigor and purity of production environment.

National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) is a special central assistance programme for the benefit of cultivators families living below poverty line through treatment of arable and non-arable land, drainage line treatment, creation of water bodies, development of agriculture/ horticulture crops, forestry and land based/ household production system as packages of rehabilitation component suiting to the socio-economic condition, background and tope-sequences of the area against the existing broad and basically un-integrated wasteful programme of jhuming. The erstwhile National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) Scheme with central assistance primarily focused on the settlement or rehabilitation of the families through the development of the area. National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) focus on the field activities for uplifting of the land use pattern of the area and development of land and water resources based on the guidelines of National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) issued by Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, and Government of India.

Starting from the highest point of the catchments area to the outlet of the main stream, the project will exercise implementation of the ameliorative measures of the scheme on various land of hilly slopes, marginal land, agriculture land and badly cutted stream courses of the manageable hydrological unit. The scheme will be implemented on watershed basis with a cost norm of Rs. 12,000/- per Ha. on net treatable area. The National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) will be initiated with pre-project activities, orientation and training, community organization, planning and implementation with end results and success criteria, monitoring and evaluation (both internal and external) and post project activities.


The concept of Watershed National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) is scientific utilization of natural and human resources to sustain production system which can meet the socio-economic need of the people and to maintain health, vigor and purity of production environment. This scheme is aimed at overall development of cultivation area on watershed basis, reclaiming the affected area and socio- economic up gradation of cultivators families. Objectives of the scheme are as follows:

a) Natural Resource Management such as Soil & Water Conservation Activities, Agronomic Conservation Practices, Run-off Management Structures, Water Harvesting Structure.

b) Drainage Line Treatment which includes gully plugging, brush wood check dam, loose boulder check dam, dug out pond, water harvesting dam, and gabion structures etc.

c) to train the grass-root level project functionaries, progressive contact farmers, both male and female, about the approaches, strategies, technical contents, guidelines of the project to act as link project persons for a better spirit of understanding and co-operation

d) to enhance cash flow through employment generation so as to make economically viable for the poor tribal

e) to strengthen people's participation in project planning, implementation and monitoring by generating awareness programme on the programme measures of the scheme so as to transform watershed management as people's movement with tapering departmental support

f) to restore ecological balance of the catchments area through promotion of in situ moisture conservation

g) to improve the socio- economic status of the cultivators through household / land based activities so as to develop the driven system to market-oriented system

h) Farm Production System.

i) Livelihood Support System.


Physical and social criteria prioritized this micro-watershed for selecting eligible under National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) scheme are carried out in an objective manner by using a combination of scientific parameters as indicated below:

1. Extent of Rainfed Farming: Almost all the families were engaged in Rainfed Farming. Now, the question of taking up this scheme arises as a must-to-do to bring forward the non-potential land to potential land and green-ecological balance so as to make environmentally stable.

2. Economic Status: 98% of the concerned hilly scheduled tribe villagers, backward class are lying too much below poverty line as compared to the national specified poverty line shown in the new official methodology.

3. Scope and willingness: The area has good scope of integrated development and demonstrative effect besides willingness of the villagers to go for improvement of the degraded non-potential land with alternative sustainable farming system supported by in - situ moisture conservation measures leading to permanent agricultural practices.

4. Lack of earlier investment: The micro-watershed so selected for National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) scheme has no overlapping or representation of villages/watersheds with the areas taken up in National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) scheme; State Plan/ CSS/ BADP/WDPSCA/ IWDP, etc). The area has also not fallen under reserved/protected forest, schemes taken up by forest department

5. Almost the whole project area has the opportunity of getting a bird's eye-view since the road passes through the area of the watershed. This will ensure the visual impact on intentional views of the works / activities to be taken up.


The problem areas of the geo-hydrological manageable unit will be treated with simple and low cost technology, so that Watershed community can easily understand and replicate it by themselves. This is possible through more reliance on vegetative conservation measures and locally available inputs in place of market purchased inputs. Public participation for planning, implementation, upkeep, maintenance and operation, of project will be the salient features of the strategy. This may be promoted through various programme measures under management component of National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) by generating awareness among the community members. The primary purpose of EPA is to meet a part of the felt needs of the community like renovation/construction of village road, rural infrastructure, etc.

Three tier training programme for acquiring new ideas and technologies will be conducted phase by phase, so as to promote scientists farmers interaction and willingly participation in different operation of the project.

While conservation is means, production is ends. The nexus is maintained through treatment of drainage lines with locally available vegetative materials, plugging of gullies, contour bunding, trenches and terracing, construction of earthen/loose boulder structure, series of farm ponds and water harvesting structure. Another nexus is to provide holistic farming system with combination of quick return or fast growing trees, crops and slow return crops in three tier canopy.

The concept of integrated farming system on the principles of watershed management would have to be replicated through the beneficiaries adopting low cost technology based primarily on in situ moisture conservation and vegetative measures of erosion control.

Demonstration of crop (single, double and mixed) on various HYV crops recommended by ICAR/ CAU will be provided as innovative measure/ new technology to the hilly villagers. As a supplement to their requirement during the lean period of plantation/cultivation programme, families will be benefited with household activities like basket/rope/mat making, weaving, tailoring, embroidery, carpentry, black smithy, small scale fruit processing units, service sector, small livestock, etc.

Click here to download the list of NWDPRA implemented during Eleventh Plan