Under its Water and land Resource Development programme, CARDS focuses on conservation of water resources and efficient use of available water. The programme has twin approach of reviving traditional methods in tandem with modern technology. The financial resources for rainwater harvesting are mobilized from the community to create ownership of the programme, with grant-aid from external sources for resource intensive, infrastructure heavy watershed programmes. Eco friendly farming practices such as organic farming, vermin-composting, use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides are promoted through awareness, training and assured accessibility of resources. Collection of Minor Forest Produce (MFP); cultivation of medicinal herbs; floriculture; and sericulture have been promoted to enhance the farm income. Watershed Development project for 1000ha as PFA under NABARD
With a view to provide sustainable water source to the rural areas CARDS with the support of NABARD started the watershed development programme In Madwabhat village in Chuikkadan block . Watershed programme consists of two phases; Capacity building phase(CBP) and the full implementation phase(FIP). The CBP projects provide hands on learning and training experience as also a demonstration of likely impact of watershed development. It also gives a clear indication whether the village community can work together as also work with the implementation agency to develop the entire watershed. FIP follows soon with the guidance from the feasibility report prepared during the CBP. This project is done with the involvement and support of the entire village. The village watershed committee is formed to monitor the entire project. To develop ownership for the project 16% of unskilled labour cost is borne by the village.
  • Sustainable alleviation of Poverty.
  • Develop and strengthen community based institutional arrangements for sustainable natural resource management
  • Improved skills and employment opportunities for non-farm sectors.
  • Involvement of village communities in participatory planning, implementation, social and environmental management, maintenance of assets and to operate in a more socially inclusive manner.
Components Watershed development involves the following components/sectors;
  • Human resource and community development include value addition and marketing of produce by farmers groups, training & Capacity Building, Creating more employment through land based and productive activities, Wage earning through community assets creation such as community buildings, village roads etc.
  • Soil and Moisture conservation by construction of check dams, water harvesting structures, desilting of village ponds, treatment of drainage lines,gullies, land levelling, bunding, treatment of problem soils, agro-forestry, agri-horticulture, organic farming, use of bio-fertilizers.
  • Tree plantation in Panchayat lands, community lands, private lands etc.
  • Pasture (Fodder) development in village community lands, pasture lands with suitable grass and fodder species.
  • Agricultural development by suitable crops, improved crop varieties, inter-cropping, contour cultivation and crop management practices.
  • Water management .
  • Livestock management.
  • Rural energy management.
  • Raising backyard nurseries.
  • Cottage industries based on bamboo, wood craft, cane craft etc.
  • Integration of other activities such as sheep rearing, fisheries, piggery, poultry, bee-keeping etc.

The successful implementation of the watershed programme lead to increase in the utilization of land use, status, production and hence increase in the income from crop production. Watershed increases the fodder production and thus improvement in the livestock sector.
  • Changes in the income of the land owning families.
  • Changes in the cropping pattern.
  • Impact on the livestock income.
  • Employment generation.
  • Gender issues.
  • Reduction in migration status.
  • Rejuvenation of dried up wells as the ground water level has risen.