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Appendix E: A conceptual framework for a Maharashtra drought adaptation pilot in rain-fed areas.

This appendix presents a framework for a drought adaptation pilot, using the state of Maharashtra as an example.


In the drought-prone regions of Maharashtra, current coping strategies appear to be increasingly inadequate in reducing people's vulnerability to the effects and impacts of climate variability and climate change. This suggests an urgent need for more effective integration of focused interventions to enhance the resilience of communities to current and potentially more disruptive future climate conditions. An ongoing World Bank-supported study entitled Addressing Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Climate Change through an Assessment of Adaptation Issues and Options (hereafter "the Study") has analyzed issues and options for a more comprehensive integration of climate-related matters into the Government of Maharashtra's operations. This Study also supports the development of a policy framework that integrates climate risk management into the development process.

Preliminary findings of emerging issues and options from this study were discussed in high-level meetings with Government of Maharashtra (GoM) officials in May and August 2006. These meetings concluded with the recognition that the effects of climate variability (to be further compounded by climate change) were costing the government significant time and resources, and that current crisis management was both expensive and sub-optimal. GoM officials supported the idea of looking at opportunities to better address climate-related considerations in Maharashtra's development programs. To this end, GoM officials requested that the Bank team develop a framework for a state-level pilot project on drought adaptation, as part of the ongoing Bank Study. It was agreed that the Department of Water Conservation would be the designated nodal agency for this exercise, and it would work in collaboration with other departments, including the rural development, agriculture, and horticulture departments.

A draft conceptual framework was prepared in response to this request and is used as a basis to facilitate further discussions with GoM officials. The note was presented to a group of senior GoM officials at a meeting chaired by the Secretary of Water Conservation and EGS in October 2006. Following a detailed discussion, it was decided that two designated officials, the Director of Soil Conservation and the Director of Social Forestry, would prepare responses to the draft document, which would then be integrated into a concept note. Responses were received by February 2007 and have been incorporated into this document.

Development Context and Rationale

About a quarter of India's drought-prone districts are in Maharashtra, with 73% of its geographical area classified as hot and semi-arid regions. Maharashtra's 13 drought-prone districts account for 60% of its net sown area. Even districts in the moderately assured rainfall zone are increasingly affected by vagaries in monsoon rainfall. As a result, a large part of the state's predominantly rain-fed cultivable land suffers from crop failures and associated hardships. The state faced consecutive years of drought from 2001 to 2004, and the agrarian crisis has become so acute that farmers in the rain-fed regions of the state have resorted to extreme measures, indicating a complete break-down of coping mechanisms.

At a macro-economic level, state-wide growth in the agricultural sector has been slower than in either the industrial or service sectors, and agricultural productivity is much lower than the national average. Notwithstanding unfavorable agro-climatic conditions, agriculture appears to be increasingly unproductive or only marginally productive due to a number of reasons including (a) high and unsustainable input costs (with heavy mono-cropping in some areas), (b) inadequate extension and knowledge services (resulting in suboptimal cropping practices), (c) little value added to support agri-businesses, (d) inadequate availability of groundwater and poor soil-moisture conservation, and (e) market policies that do not support the majority of farmers with small and marginal holdings (less than 5 hectares of land). Furthermore, irrigation, which covers only 16% of the total agricultural area, is mainly accessible to the large farmers due to the inequitable distribution of water resources governed largely by power subsidies (65). Nonetheless, agriculture continues to be the main source of livelihood for about 58% of the state's population. All this suggests that much greater attention to rain-fed ecosystems and agriculture is needed in terms of improved productivity, income, employment, and marketing. More importantly, providing support to nonfarm livelihood approaches and income-generating activities is also needed in rural Maharashtra.

The Government of Maharashtra supports a number of development programs aimed at helping poor rural communities during drought episodes. In response to the severe drought of 1970-73 which affected 15 to 30 million people, Maharashtra led the way by introducing (for the first time in the country) the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) to provide gainful employment through relief works. Over the past thirty-odd years, the EGS has provided a substantial amount of demand-led manual employment through labor-intensive public works (roads, percolation tanks, contour and 'nala' bunding, horticulture-linked works), especially during off-season periods of low employment opportunities. While the EGS is today considered a successful drought-relief program, it has not made a significant impact on reducing the drought-proneness of the state. Nor has it reduced poverty through the creation of productive assets and their maintenance or through building long-term capacity and awareness on drought resilience.

Apart from EGS, there are a number of state and centrally-sponsored programs that seek to improve community resistance to drought, such as the Drought Area Development Program (DPAP), the Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP), the National Watershed Development Programme for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA), the Jalswarajaya Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, the National Food for Work Program (NFFWP), the Swaranajaynati Gram Swarazgar Yojana (SGSY), the Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), the Jawahar Gram Sarnridhi Yojana (JGSY), and the recently introduced National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). There is also a rich heritage of donor and NGO supported watershed development and rural livelihood enhancement programs. Despite these programs, the rural poor appear to be increasingly vulnerable to drought conditions in the state as a whole. This is evidenced by significant rural stress, groundwater mining, distress migration, and large and persistent inequalities in incomes and development outcomes.

Overall, lessons learned from ongoing development programs show that there has been a limited degree of success with the different approaches being implemented by different agencies under various framework and guidelines (e.g. seven different watershed conservation and development programs are currently ongoing in the state). Achievement of desired adaptation outcomes at the household and community levels has consequently been sub-optimal, even problematic. Therefore, coordinating between the multiplicity of sectors and agencies involved is a central challenge for developing a successful adaptation program in Maharashtra. This requires planning of development programs on the basis of local priorities and the lessons learned from implementing a variety of rural development projects. There is a need for a more strategic and effective integrated programming approach, with proper institutional arrangements, to help communities (a) save and recharge water, (b) adjust farming practices and cropping patterns in view of water scarcity and market conditions, and (c) provide options other than agriculture for sustaining broader livelihoods.

Links to Ongoing Activities and Added Value

The focus on long-term adaptation strategies in the context of global climate change and integration of climate-risk management into developmental planning is a key area of cooperation between the World Bank and the Government of India. The Adaptation Pilot Program outlined in this concept note is in line with the programs of the Government of India and Maharashtra which give high priority to measures which would reduce the vulnerability of rural communities in rain-fed areas to climate-related risks, especially with a view of reducing and then eliminating rural poverty and regional disparities. The GoM has been allocating significant resources to programs which provide drought relief in affected areas. The pilot will build upon, and facilitate synergy with, a number of ongoing and relevant programs chiefly run by the departments of water conservation, rural development, agriculture, water resources, and forests among others. In choosing areas for a pilot activity, coordination and complementarities would be established with the ongoing activities in groundwater management and projects in the water supply, irrigation, agriculture, and forestry sectors (figure E.1). The focus of the pilot will be on long-term adaptation approaches and outcomes that go much beyond the usual programs for rural development, agriculture, forests, and water resources.


The proposed Drought Adaptation Pilot will take an integrated approach to designing and implementing adaptation strategies to droughts in rain-fed areas. The proposed primary objectives of the Drought Adaptation Pilot concept are the following:

* identify, analyze, and then recommend measures for state-level policy framework that is supportive of drought adaptation in rain-fed regions;

* improve institutional and service delivery coordination between government and programs to focus their actions and outcomes on increasing resilience to droughts;

* improve the capacity and awareness of small and marginal farmers living primarily in rain-fed areas, as well as options available to them for adapting to the impacts of climate change;

* test and evaluate measures that help (a) diversify livelihood options, (b) enhance productivity and management of dryland ecosystems through sustainable management practices, (c) improve production systems through adoption of innovative, cost-saving, and risk-minimizing technologies, and (d) safeguard vulnerable flora and fauna in their natural habitats.


Components of the Adaptation Pilot

The pilot will involve the following main components/stages:

Component 1: Support for Development of a State-Level Policy Framework on Adaptation Including Monitoring and Knowledge Management

There is a need to develop a policy framework that supports adaptation in the state and that can take the lessons and best practices from this pilot into a larger program. The expected outcomes of the pilot would be improved awareness of and capacities for drought adaptation options and approaches, a demonstration of programmatic convergence, and a more effective packaging of focused interventions. The pilot would carry out participatory and real-time monitoring and evaluation to assess its performance in order to identify problems early on and suggest mid-term course corrections. A well-formulated monitoring strategy will therefore have to be an integral part of the pilot program. Another key area of work that could contribute to a basis for future policy work is knowledge management and sharing on drought adaptation options and experiences. The pilot will support activities on forming learning alliances for information exchange, education and communication, awareness-raising campaigns, training workshops, and creating a network of knowledge centers including websites that provide information on adaptation. Effective monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management systems will support drought adaptation activities beyond the period of the regional pilot programs.

Component 2: Strengthened Convergence with Ongoing Programs

The pilot will strengthen convergence with ongoing programs to focus the impact of these programs on drought adaptation. For instance, the convergence with EGS/National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) would be established to support a range of allied activities, including public works, land development, soil and water conservation, crop planning, horticulture, and agro-forestry through people's participation. Further, convergence through EGS could include renovation and restoration of communally-owned malgujari tanks, which if repaired could give significant support to farmers. Apart from the EGS/NREGS Program, the pilot can learn lessons and build upon a plethora of relevant activities in Maharashtra. These include (a) the existing watershed development programs--the Maratwada and Vidharbha Watershed Missions and the Bank-supported Jalswarajya community-based water supply initiative, (b) the aquifer mapping and management pilots and Maharashtra Water Sector Improvement Project, (c) the Department of Agriculture's programs for drought-prone area, and (d) the work being done by the Forest Department, which owns a major portion of the degraded areas of drought-prone districts in Maharashtra.

Component 3: Institutional Support and Capacity Building

The pilot's design and implementation would require specialized professional inputs and the participation of NGOs, line departments, local governments, and community-based organizations (e.g. rural cooperatives and self-help groups which could be formed by government department programs for agriculture, rural development, and forestry). In addition, the pilot can aim to develop farmer groups and user groups to take collective action. Further, these institutional groups could be linked with tied grants and micro-finance programs. The capacities and awareness levels of all of these institutional players will be developed through a well-coordinated capacity-building program at the grassroots level. Players in such a sensitization and capacity-building exercise could also include the Social Forestry Directorate, which has on-going outreach work in drought-prone areas.

Component 4: Community-Level Planning and Implementation of Drought Adaptation Plans

The findings of the Bank-supported study on climate change and adaptation indicate a strong need for adaptation solutions in Maharashtra. These solutions should be based on multi-sector interventions and take into account the full range of local conditions. Therefore, it is proposed that the planning of adaptation interventions and packages be done by the communities themselves. This will require the development of micro-plans on drought adaptation, possibly linked with tied grants, taking into account ongoing programs and missing links and gaps in the village-level activities. Detailed studies on integrated planning methodologies for micro-planning in drought-prone areas would help identify ways to institutionalize such micro-planning activities in future government activities in the field. An initial assessment of the rain-fed regions in Maharashtra points to the following categories of interventions, which have the potential to make a difference in building resilience in communities.

Management of Common Natural Resources (Water and Land)

In a majority of the drought affected areas in Maharashtra, the degradation of the soil in rain-fed cultivate areas due to denudation of tree and grass cover and the ineffectiveness of programs to check soil erosion have been major problems. There is a need, therefore, for more efficient use of local rainfall to improve soil moisture and recharge groundwater. Further expansion of surface and groundwater irrigation through major or medium irrigation projects and tubewell projects is not feasible and many of the irrigation facilities in rain-fed areas require repair and maintenance. Given these circumstances, the central focus of the pilot will be on activities at the micro-watershed level, building on the Marathwada and Vidharbha Watershed Missions as a strategic entry point. Specific activities would take into account both surface and groundwater catchments (66) in the early stages of planning. The focus will be on (a) reducing demand, (b) developing collective protocols and mechanisms for the proper maintenance of watershed works, and (c) regulating entitlements for equitable access and use of water and biomass. This will be done through technical and participatory management techniques and systems involving Village Self Help Groups (VSHGs), grassroots NGOs, and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) which endorse the Hariyali Guidelines towards empowerment of the PRIs. These watershed investment activities will also build upon available best-practice models and the promising work of several NGOs in the state, which chiefly include the work of the Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) under the Indo-German Watershed Development Program, BAIF, AFARM, and MSSM. It will also examine feasible mechanisms for introducing community-led management of water demand to ensure that additional water, captured through soil and water conservation, is not used up completely for expansion of irrigated areas or to support water-intensive agriculture.

Also, biodiversity conservation in these drought-prone areas needs to be addressed in a more holistic manner. Given the tough competition for limited resources, appropriate water and food management is necessary to reduce the conflicts between human beings and wildlife, such as attacks on human beings and cattle over utilization of habitat and crop raiding of agricultural and horticultural fields.

Diversification of Production Systems and Technology Innovation

In certain parts of the rain-fed regions in Maharashtra, there is a significant practice of monocropping and utilization of farming practices (e.g., purchase of commercial seeds) that are conducive only to irrigated conditions and therefore detrimental in terms of overall productivity. In addition, the use of pesticides is excessive in some rain-fed areas. These practices result in sub-optimal production levels and low price realization. The pilot would liaise with ongoing programs to strengthen the advisory and extension support services to farmers in order to suggest ways to improve existing support services for dryland agriculture. The focus of the extension services could range from recommendations on the timing and quantum of application of water and fertilizers, to recommendations on the diversification of cropping systems to include short-duration, drought-resistant seed varieties and practices that significantly increase the yield potential of coarse cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and fibers that are the backbone of a rain-fed agriculture.

As part of this process, the pilot will organize learning platforms that bring scientists and farmers together in order to extend lessons learned from dryland agriculture research to the farmers' fields and agricultural projects. The focus of the entire exercise will be on optimizing the available gene pool, minimizing the input costs of agriculture, and increasing the revenue per unit of land and per unit of water in rain-fed areas and irrigated tracts, hence increasing profits from sustainable agriculture overall. In addition to the focus on agricultural development, the pilot would look at issues such as apiculture, vermi-composting, and the prevention of forest fires. The pilot would also develop systems to familiarize rural communities with 'watershed plus' activities that attend to end-uses of harvested rainwater and promote livelihoods, including the development of fodder banks in order to meet the increased demand for stall feeding and the promotion of leasing arrangements of common lands to the landless for the cultivation of fodder crops and the promotion of fisheries.

Nonfarm Livelihood Diversification

In some drought-prone areas where agriculture is becoming increasingly unviable, it would be necessary to promote nonfarm livelihoods. This strategy of income diversification through alternate livelihoods can play an important role in building farmers' long-term coping abilities during drought conditions. For instance, women SHGs and other collective action groups can be mobilized to plan and implement a variety of income-generating activities with the assistance of grassroots NGOs, market-based institutions, and micro-finance institutions. A wide variety of approaches have been tried throughout different parts of the country, from which lessons will be distilled for locally-appropriate piloting. The emphasis, however, would be on developing institutional and community-based mechanisms to generate and share economically-viable options for livelihood diversification, so as to improve resilience to drought and to reduce stress migration and its attendant strain on urban areas.

Economic Support Tools and Marketing

Poor credit availability and poor marketing systems are crucial impediments in drought-affected areas, as a result of which the poor farmers suffer on various accounts. The farmers in these regions, among the poorest in the state, usually take out large loans from the informal system, the bulk of which comprise unlicensed money lenders. In practical terms, credit is required for the input cost of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. To strengthen the lines of credit from cooperative banks to farmers, the pilot will look at ways to troubleshoot the existing initiatives of public and private micro-finance institutions to ensure effective access to credit. For example, the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has the capacity to create systems for providing credit lines and training in credit assessment, disbursal, and recovery to smaller nodal agencies which, in turn, can distribute these lines of credit to individual entities. There are, however, several bottlenecks that impede effective access, as demonstrated in the low adoption of farmers' insurance, and more recently, in the disbursal problems of the drought-relief credit package announced for farmers in Vidharbha. The pilot will also endeavor to develop and test innovative economic instruments for weather-related insurance and other social safety-net funds established as contributory funds at the community level to tide the farmers over during periods of immediate distress.

Institutional Aspects/Partners

The pilot program will help to further clarify the roles and responsibilities of different institutions/stakeholders, including state and local governments, NGOs, communities, sector support service agencies/line departments, local banks, and other financial institutions, in implementing such programs on a larger scale. Adaptation success stories often correlate with the presence of good NGOs, suggesting that grassroots civil society organizations can be made an important part of an adaptation strategy. To the extent possible, the pilot will try to make use of existing rural development, agricultural programs, and micro-financing schemes running successfully in the state. Institutional mechanisms for channeling tied grants to community-based groups and PRIs will need to be explored.

Geographical Coverage

A pilot assessment will be performed in two or three districts, representing four to five different agro-climatic zones and geographical and socio-economic conditions, with coordinated inputs from different departments and agencies (e.g., Agriculture, Horticulture, Soil Conservation, Forest, Minor Irrigation, LMD, GSDA), research institutions, and NGOs (e.g. BAIF, AFARM, MSSM, WOTR). The final selection of districts will be made upon assessing a range of factors, including:

* the interest of the district/block level authorities;

* the availability/skill potential of NGOs and other institutions to participate in the implementation;

* the availability of a range of geo-hydrological and agro-climatic conditions in the area, so as to be able to test and evaluate a mix of interventions;

* the existence of relatively successful key programs such as EGS/NREGS and watershed activities in the area; and

* the potential to maximize learning value and usefulness of the pilot exercise, including the formulation of a larger program.

Implementation Arrangements

A source of financing will have to be identified to support this pilot. Some financial and/or inkind contribution will be expected from the state government. The overall exercise will take place in collaboration with and under the guidance of the Department of Water Conservation and EGS. A nodal agency/contact point at the state government level will be identified and will coordinate/facilitate/oversee the work in the state. Implementation arrangements at the district and block levels will be discussed and identified in consultation with the state nodal agency. Pilot programs will involve a range of stakeholders including state and local governments, NGOs, SHGs, WUAs, consulting firms (for training), local banks, etc. A steering committee chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Water Conservation and EGS could be established, that includes representatives from other departments (such as the rural development, agriculture, revenue and planning departments), NABARD, and key NGOs.
Table E.1 Potential Impacts and Responses for Addressing
Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Climate Change in

Sectors Economic Impacts Ecosystem Impacts Impacts on Poor

Irrigation, Drought, Impact on Irrigation
Tank floods, water biodiversity potential,
Management supply, and vulnerability to
 power drought

Agriculture Loss of Pests and Food poverty
and production diseases and
Livestock malnutrition

Natural Loss of assets Depletion in Food and
Resource and groundwater, income poverty
Management, livelihoods; soil cover, and for human and
Livelihoods migration moisture content livestock

Economic Loss of Low Food and
Instruments production productivity income
 and livestock poverty, large
 debts, acute
 stress during

Sectors Potential Intervention Options

Irrigation, * Restoration and more efficient management
Tank of tank system
 * Adoption of more efficient methods of

 * Desiltation of canals and feeder channels and
 restoration of lakes

 * Demand-side response strategies, such as
 water pricing, water rights, social regulation
 of private borewells, reform in water laws,

Agriculture * Crop diversification and livestock production
and and management strategies
 * Development of new technologies and
 improved extension services

 * Changes in land use practices, including
 changes in timing, cropping sequence, and
 intensity of production; land rights policies

 * Minimizing external and high cost inputs
 (pest and soil productivity management)

 * Seed management for normal and contingent

 * Community management of livestock and

 * Changes in marketing systems and risk
 financing options (e.g. credit and insurance)

Natural * Management of common land and private
Resource fallow land as buffer for drought vulnerability
Livelihoods * Changes in graze-land management practices
 (time, location, duration)

 * Natural regeneration of biomass through
 social fencing

 * Promotion of non-farm income generation
 and livelihood opportunities

Economic * Changes in risk financing options (crop
Instruments insurance, weather-based insurance)

 * Social safety nets
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Title Annotation:Climate Change Impacts in Drought and Flood Affected Areas: Case Studies in India
Publication:Climate Change Impacts In Drought and Flood Affected Areas: Case Studies In India
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Previous Article:Appendix D: Programs that address droughts and floods in the case study areas.
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