The following are a few of MYRADA’s ongoing Natural Resource and Environment related projects

  • Community Led Sustainable Management of Resource for Promotion of Livelihood and Secured Natural Base

Donor: Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

Aim of the Project: The overall aim of the project is to improve the natural resources and increase the water resource and retention through conservation and proper management practices. The project’s aim includes improving and increasing the income of the poor especially the small, marginal farmers and also the landless through farm and non-farm based interventions

Geographical area and coverage: Selected villages in five districts – Bidar, Bellary, Chitradurga, Gulbarga and Kolar. These are rainfed drought prone regions with a large extent of environmental degradation. 7269 ha of land in 23 villages was identified for the intervention, impacting directly or indirectly over 4629 families with 3060 land holding families being impacted through watershed development activities and 600 landless families through non-farm based livelihood activities.

  • 883.83 TCM capacity structures created and 10.02 Billion Lts of Water collected.
  • 4099 Ha are treated and 142.16 Ha waste land brought under cultivation 3064 farmers benefited.
  • 4660 tonnes increased yield for 3129 farmers over 5 districts.
  • 204 SAGs formed, 12 Federations, 5 CMRCs , 5 EC body’s – Implementing Programme.
  • 978 Women are benefited, 813 members belong to SC & ST Category.
  • 1.41 lakh direct and 2.47 lakh indirect Labour Days
  • 494 HH get farm based livelihood support, 105 HH get off – farm based livelihoods support through NABARD.
  • Apart from NABARD support 1392 HH livelihoods supported through MFIs and Local Banks linkage programs.
  • 1.58 cr rupees community contribution mobilized and 28 lakh common funds collected.

A detailed report of the HUF project report click here

  • Community Managed Participatory Watershed Development Programme

Donor: Azim Premji Foundation

Project Objectives

  • To recharge the groundwater table through creating water harvesting structures
  • To increase the agriculture productivity by improving the soil fertility
  • To Improving soil fertility by applying biomass & vermi compost and by crop rotation
  • To Promote horticulture
  • To Create alternative income generation programme / livelihood activities for the small, marginal and landless families
  • To Promote Peoples Institutions to manage the programme in a sustainable manner

(It needs to be reiterated that though this is a watershed development programme, livelihoods and capacity building of people’s institutions are an integral part of the programme.

Geographical Area and Coverage : Covers watersheds in Chamrajanagar and Kolar districts of Karnataka

  • 48.36 ha land (figure for Kollegal alone) is being treated in the first phase like Trench cum Bund, boulder checks, waste weir & bund plantation
  • Technical training to staff and SAG and WDA members
  • Increase in livelihood activities of families
  • Natural Resource Management and Livelihood Promotion

Donor: ITC Limited

Project Objectives

  • Improve the environment for protecting agriculture from adverse climatic factors.
  • Increase the supply of wood fuel for domestic use, small timber for rural housing, fodder for livestock.
  • To provide employment opportunities to the rural population and provide jobs for unskilled workers Land rehabilitation.
  • To provide efficient soil and water conservation.
  • Finally, its object is to raise the standard of living and quality of life of the rural people

Geographical Area and Coverage :
55 villages in Chamrajnagar, Gundulpet and Kollegal taluks of Chamrajnagar district in Karnataka

Activities include social forestry, tank rehabilitation and capacity building of watershed associations


  • 21 small tanks de-silted
  • 10 cattle trough benefitting 6 villages.
  • 822 farmers planted Eucalyptus clones, Melia dubia, Cassia semia, 11,18,553 no’s saplings planted in 1211.84 acres. Besides adding biomass to helps farmers in increasing family income.
  • Integrated Watershed Management Programme

Donor: District Watershed Development Department, Chamarajanagar

Project Objectives

  • To conserve of moisture in rainfall for optimal production
  • To prevent soil & water erosion.
  • To Prevent flood irrigation.
  • To recharge groundwater or increase the water table in wells
  • To increase the productivity.
  • To maximum utilization of locally available materials & skilled labours
  • To increase the knowledge on importance of soil & water conservation among the community.

Geographical Area and Coverage :
34945.82 Ha in 6 sub watersheds in Chamrajnagar, Gundulpet and Kollegal taluks of Chamrajnagar district

Besides components such as soil and moisture conservation, bund plantation project also incorporates activities such as capacity building of SAGs and WDAs, awareness building through Grama sabhas, street plays etc. and farmers’ exposure to agriculture fairs


  • 40% of identified land treated
  • Activities such as trench cum bunding, waste weirs, farm ponds, and seed sowing on bunds, agro forestry & horticulture completed in treated land

A few of the Natural Resource and Environment related projects implemented in the past

  • Sujala Watershed Development Programme

Donor: World Bank (through the Department of Watershed of the Government of Karnataka

Project Objective : “to increase the productive potential of the watersheds by involving the communities in the process through building appropriate people’s institutions, and capacitating them to plan, implement and manage their resources to achieve more sustainable development”

Geographical Area and Coverage:
The programme was implemented in 1270 villages of five districts (Chitradurga, Dharwad, Haveri, Kolar and Tumkur) in Karnataka.

This was a collaborative programme implemented by various partners and MYRADA played multiple roles

  • At the state level it acted as a Parnter NGO (PNGO) to the Government to provide advice on: (a) participatory planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation (b) community mobilization (c) strategies for implementing non-farm based activities to benefit the landless/vulnerable groups (d) provide support to the department for developing systems to monitor the project, enable CBOs to develop books of accounts and regular audit (e) to provide support to local NGO partners in developing training plans, budget and micro plans, TOT for capacity building of local institutions (f) developing resource materials for use by field NGOs
  • At the district level (in two districts viz, Chitradurga & Kolar) it acted as the Lead NGO (LNGO) where its role was to select the Field NGOs(FNGOs – these were the ones actually implementing the programme at the field level), provide facilitation, liaise between the FNGOs and the department, monitor and review project progress,
  • At the sub watershed level or field level it was also the FNGO in selected taluks of Kolar and Chitradurga districts. As FNGO it was responsible for actual programme implementation
  • Increase land productivity
  • Increase of family income through adopting various income generation activities by availing project revolving fund and financial assistance from banks
  • Promotion of horticulture as subsidiary livelihoods
  • Increase of ground water table
  • Increase of tree canopy

For a detailed report of MYRADA’s role as PNGO in the Sujala Project click click here


Donor: Department for International Development (DFID)

Project Objectives

  • To develop three watersheds in Chitradurga, Bijapur and Bellary districts through soil and moisture conservation activities
  • Increase agricultural productivity
  • To create employment opportunities for landless families through non-land based income generation activities
  • To improve livestock activities

Geographical Area and Coverage :
The project was implemented between 1998 and 2005 in Chiradurga, Bellary and Bijapur districts covering around 40000 hectares. MYRADA was involved in Chitradurga and Bellary districts. The project was implemented by the department of watershed in through a specially formed society called the Karnataka Watershed Development Society (KAWAD) in partnership with NGOs. In each district an Implementing Agency was appointed that served as the Nodal agency to provide administrative support and to monitor the activities of the NGOs who were the implementing partners. In Chitradurga district MYRADA was the Implementing Agency, whereas in the other two districts government departments played this role. In Bellary district, MYRADA was one of the implementing partners.

This is was one of the first watershed programme of the government that had a major focus on livelihoods for the landless. Subsequent watershed programmes incorporated this element – of non-land based income generating activities – as an integral part of watershed programmes.

Community contribution for land based activities was collected upfront and deposited in watershed Management Committees, resulting in the creation of a substantial corpus at the field level.

  • Participatory Integrated Watershed Programme

Donor: Azim Premji Foundation

Project Objectives

  • To increase agriculture productivity
  • To recharge the groundwater table through creating water harvesting structures
  • To enhance soil fertility by applying biomass, composting, vermin composting and through crop rotation
  • To promote horticulture as part of a family livelihood strategy
  • To provide employment near their homes
  • To create alternative income generation programme/livelihood activities
  • To improve livestock activities
  • To stabilize and strengthen local institutions, networks and linkages
  • To minimize waterborne diseases thorough provision and management of safe drinking water systems

Geographical Area and Coverage : 5 villages in Bangarpet Taluk of Kolar district

  • Increase land productivity 30-35%
  • Adoption crop intensity-30%
  • Control of migration up to 74% in search of labour due to Uncultivable area brought under cultivation 13 hectors belongs of 19 families
  • Increase of family income through adopting various income generation activities by availing project revolving fund and financial assistance from banks from 5500/- to Rs. 13,500/- per annum.
  • Increase of cross breed cow up to 47% and increase of milk yeild
  • Promotion of horticulture as subsidiary livelihoods up to 4%
  • Increase of ground water table 40 feet
  • Increase of moisture retention period up 300%
  • Control of water born diseases through providing 100% safe drinking water
  • Participatory Watershed Management Programme Huthur

Donor: Miserior, Netherlands

Project Objectives

  • Conservation of soil &water through building watershed institutions
  • Increase the awareness on NRM activities among members/ stake holders

Geographical Area and Coverage :
50 villages in Chamrajnagar district

  • Increase in family income
  • Increase in underground water
  • Increase in greenery, usage of green leaf manure, usage of wormy compost, increased awareness on NRM activities.
  • Kollegal Hill Area Development Programme

Donor: NOVIB

Project Objectives

  • Institutionalising the watershed activities for sustainable development in agriculture
  • Promotion of Bio mass

Geographical Area and Coverage :
3050ha, 30 villages in Chamrajnagar District

Apart from land treatment activities, the project had also provisioned community infrastructure building, skills training and capacity building for CBOs

  • 6 Tanks desilted
  • 9 Check dams constructed, 10m Nalabunds, 1 cause way, 2 silt traps,  4 farm  ponds,  2 gabion structures, 45 Roof water  Systems,  42 Water harvesting structures,  2 open wells fencing and maintenance,  327 metres drainage
  • 22cattle troughs,
  • 7 Bore well platforms
  • 27Mini drinking water platforms
  • 11 community h halls constructed
  • NABARD Watershed Programme


Project Objectives :
Conservation of soil &water through building watershed institutions

Geographical Area and Coverage :
2 villages in Chamrajnagar district

increase in family income, increase in underground water, increase in greenery, usage of green leaf manure, usage of vermi compost, increased awareness on NRM activities

  • Biofuel Programme

Donor: Karnataka State Biofuel development Board

Project Objectives

  • Support for promotion of Biofuel agriculture in the farmer’s field by providing grants.
  • Involvement of farmers in production of Biofuel energy & increase their income.
  • Reducing import of petroleum products & foreign exchange.
  • Reducing global warming, soil erosion control increasing the greenery

Geographical Area and Coverage :
169 villages in Chamarajanagar District

  • 543 GP members and 1611 SHG members trained in importance of biofuels, global warming, etc
  • 848 families got subsidy of Rs.10000 per acre for planting neem and pongemia in their lands. It is expected that they will realise income in the future
  • More than 30000 Neem saplings and 65000 Pongemia saplings planted in 1483 acres
  • Bonthi PRI Pilot Project

Donor: SDC, Switzerland

Project Objectives

  • To capacitate communities in villages and hamlets in one Gram Panchayat to plan as per local priorities and manage natural resources on an equitable and sustainable basis.
  • To support and facilitate the Gram Panchayat to influence public policies in favour of locally driven Natural Resource Management and to develop, in the pilot area, a pool of human resources and institutional capacities for future PRI-based Integrated Natural Resource Management activities in semi-arid areas of Northern Karnataka.
  • To promote women as effective community leaders who are actively involved in decision making, by enhancing their capacities and skills
  • To create exchange platforms for sharing experiences and insights through common meetings, workshops, seminar e-groups and website based knowledge management related to decentralization and natural resource management.

Geographical Area and Coverage : All villages in Bonthi Gram Panchayat of Bidar district

  • Communities in all villages and Bonthi Gram Panchayat have successfully implemented participatory plans prepared in Gram Sabhas. Only activities that were labor intensive and provided local employment were implemented.
  • 2500 hectares of the 4888 hectares have been treated.
  • 407 hectares of fallow land was treated.
  • 81,500 labor person days were generated
  • Based on a survey in the project villages, after treatments, average crop production went up by 2.94 quintals/ hectare (varying from 12.3 to 0.93 q/ha). Average additional income from agriculture went up by Rs. 27,300/- per farmer and by Rs. 7000/- per hectare. (Earlier, Under NREGA, Bonthi Gram Panchayat plans focused only on farm ponds, percolation tanks and other drainage line treatments.)
  • More equity focused farmer centered approaches were demonstrated and accepted by the community.
  • 15 community resource persons trained under the project on NRM activities whose services can readily be used for NREGA or watershed programmes.
  • 12 women actively participate and contribute to discussions and decision making.
  • 68 SHGs were strengthened through trainings.
  • Exchange Platforms at the community level like project learning forum was introduced to encourage cross learning between sub Committees.
  • Contribution was made to the decentralization community of the UN Solutions Exchange. Experiences were shared with neighboring panchayats and an up scaling programme initiated with alternate funding.