Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD) Project

India has one of the largest watershed management programs in the world. The REWARD programme will help in improving watershed management practices throughout India by using comprehensive spatial data and technologies,  knowledge exchanges and decision support tools.

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Why in the News?

In February 2022, the Government of India, the State Governments of Karnataka and Odisha and the World Bank signed the Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development Programme. The REWARD programme is worth $115 million and aims to help national and state institutions adopt improved watershed management practices. This will not only help in increasing farmers’ resilience to climate change but also improve their income and promote higher productivity.

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Importance of Watershed Management

The Government of India aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and double farmers’ income by 2023. The REWARD project will help in furthering this goal and will:

  • Enhance livelihoods in rainfed areas
  • Build a more resilient food system
  • Help the participating state governments to transform watershed planning and execution and adopt science-based and data-driven approaches.
  • Enable the participating and other states to adopt new approaches to watershed development.
  • Support in the development of sustainable and risk-averse agriculture in India
  • Further develop the institutional architecture for watershed development in India
  • Provide new opportunities to farmers in the face of climate change

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Financial Support by the IBRD

The $115 million (INR 869 crore) loan provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 15 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years. IBRD will provide financial support to the following states:

  • Karnataka with $60 million (INR 453.5 crore)
  • Odisha with $49 million (INR 370 crore)
  • Remaining $6 million (INR 45.5 crore) will be utilised by the central government’s Department of Land Resources 

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