Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
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AbstractThe process of innovation-development to scaling is varied and complex. Various actors are involved in every stage of the process. In scaling the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-led integrated watershed management projects in India and South Asia, three drivers were identified—islanding approach, multi-layered partnership, and innovative means of knowledge sharing. Through a consortium mode of partnership, ICRISAT established ‘islands’ or models for showcasing soil and water conservation interventions and integrated these with other concerns of the farming system (crops and livestock) and socio-economic dimension (capacity building). Activities on the islands were planned and implemented by the locals and replicated in satellite watersheds. Partnerships forged through the consortium approach provided a dearth of resources such as social capital. Projects built on trust and good relationships can be sustained even when direct financial support ceases. Innovative means of knowledge sharing like the Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VASAT)—ICRISAT's innovation in capacity building and information management—provided the link between rural farm households and researchers. Credible intermediaries and markets were linked to farmers by information communication technology channels and markets through an interface of information and open/distance learning methods. VASAT's multi-dimensional strategy has been an important resource for a south–south partnership.
Mula, R P and Wani, S P and Dar, W D (2008) Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 14 (2). pp. 153-168. ISSN 1389-224X