Agriculture and therefore land has played the most crucial role in the evolution of human society. In the context of India, agriculture and allied sectors contribute only 17% of the GDP while employed 51% of the total workforce in 2012. As Indian economy has diversified and grown, agriculture’s contribution to GDP has declined from 1951 to 2011, yet it is still the largest employment source and a significant piece of the overall socio-economic development of India. Agriculture is still the major occupation of the people living in the rural areas. Around 70% of India’s population live in rural areas and their major activity is agriculture, and major productive asset land. For the rural population, it is the control and ownership of land that determines their well being. Therefore, ownership and control of land are of prime essence to millions of people. Promoting sustainable livelihoods for the poor remains a key challenge in development policy and action in India. Sustainable Water resource development and management and watershed management is still the most widespread and robust source of expanding and enhancing rural livelihoods.
The incidence of rural poverty is closely related to the distribution of land and water resources, the nature of these resources and their management. Skewed distribution of these resources, their intrinsically low productivity, coupled with poor husbandry are among the interacting cause of widespread rural poverty. Per capita availability of cultivable land is declining. It declined from 0.48 Hectares in 1952 to 0.16 Hectares in 1991 and is likely to decline further to 0.08 Hectare in 2035. This is vividly illustrated by the undulating, hilly and mountainous regions which are characterized by wide-spread rural poverty. Since the Indian society is predominately agrarian in nature, any attempt towards alleviation of poverty and creation of employment necessarily needs to address the problems of effective and optimal management of land and water in an integrated manner. India has sufficient natural resources to support respectable life standard to its citizens, provided their utilization pattern is optimized and management streamlined.
We at ADI utilize our time, energy and resources towards rural development through land and water resource management and other need based livelihood generation initatives. Wherever feasible, the project is conceived in a watershed development framework with an integrated approach to the management of land and water resources. The main objective is to contribute to poverty alleviation / livelihood generation programs with specific reference to land and water resource management and other non-farm based activities. The intensification and extension of agriculture has remained our key focus in all our water resource management, watershed management, poverty alleviation and livelihood generation projects.
For both long term agronomic and environmental reasons the need arise in favour of a more diversified farm package including horticulture, vegetable gardening, oil seeds, pulses along with agro-processing and fodder cropping, animal husbandry and dairying. We at ADI in our community action projects are promoting diversified cropping pattern coupled with reduction of water intensive crop area and introducing micro-irrigation systems along with creation and rejuvenation of water bodies has reversed the trends of water depletion in the area and enabled people enhance their livelihoods through better use of land and water resources. Such system, by reducing uncertainty, made it possible to risk higher inputs in pulses, oil seeds and other crops and thereby enhanced the profitability of farmers. We at ADI are providing better agronomic practices through demonstration and in-house and on-job skill trainings along with motivational and awareness trainings.
Our involvement is from the very participatory planning, facilitating the implementation process, capacity building, handling responsibility to the community while building institutions around the program. ADI is working with more than 15,000 farming families.
ADI is involved in planning and facilitating implementation of watershed programs. Taking into consideration, the past work experiences, watersheds are logical planning and management units from a sustainable and environmental viewpoint. Therefore the approach is to develop land from ridge to valley to harmonize economic development and environmental protection.
We were involved in the Study on diversified agriculture for enhanced income in the State of Himachal Pradesh for evolving 10 years master and action plans on Rural Development. ADI evolved Vision document for Shivalik region of Government of Haryana. Improvisation in agricultural technology, farm extension, setting up on-farm and other industries for value addition and its marketing were the key aspect of the Vision Document.