Sachin Oza

In this article, we look at the efficacy of this programme at providing water security. This article is based on discussions at the IWMI-Tata Annual Partners' Meet in 2012.

A month ago, India Water Portal tried to make sense of the numbers involved in India's flagship programme. Two-thirds of the works in progress in the current financial year (2012-13) were devoted to works linked with water - split nearly equally between water for domestic use and water for livelihoods.

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This strategy handbook deals with livelihood augmentation in rainfed areas.

Cover Image It is a compilation of ongoing, successful strategies piloted and upscaled by a range of development agencies in different parts of the country. The handbook is presented in four volumes under a common framework and focus on initiatives related to: participatory natural resource management; rural entrepreneurship development; use of information communication technology and institution development.

About 400 million rural poor reside in about 200 poorest districts of the country that constitute rainfed areas. Scientific research has revealed a vast untapped potential in rainfed agriculture where crop yields are lower than their potential by two to five fold. A large number of innovative projects and ideas have been tried to address this issue, although documentation has been uneven and fragmented. Drawing upon such experiences, the handbook points towards new vistas and untapped opportunities in meeting the challenge of enhancing food security with limited water resources and improving the carrying capacities of rainfed areas to match the rapidly increasing populations in these regions and elsewhere.

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