Directorate of Soil Conservation ,Department of Agriculture , M.S.                                                     
     
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Agricultural land in the major part of the country suffers from erosion. Erosion control through watershed development is slowly but surely taking on the dimensions of a movement in India. Apart from reducing the yields through the loss of nutrients, erosion destroys the soil resources itself every year. Holistic watershed development is a key to improve the natural resource base of degraded area. Soil erosion, land degradation, ground water depletion, shortage of safe drinking water, declining biodiversity are problems faced by majority of people. People living in rural areas face erratic monsoons and capricious market prices.

 

 

Sustainable development of natural resources is the need of the hour particularly to meet the basic requirement of the growing population, and maintaining the optimum balance between the available resources and their exploitation. The concept of sustained development envisages watershed development, which is a comprehensive developmental unit in which all the natural resources are interdependent.

 

 

The success of watershed development programme revolves around the conservation of soil and water resources in that watershed and hence, it is imperative to prioritise the watersheds on the basis of conservation and developmental needs. With such inputs, action plans for soil and water conservation can be formulated based on the priority watershed.

 

 

In the past few years, these water- and soil-related problems have led to the conclusion that no permanent progress is possible without preserving both soil and water. Integrated watershed development was found to be the most useful and sustainable tool in achieving these valuable resources. Many productivity-enhancement projects based on the watershed approach are being implemented through centrally sponsored government schemes, externally aided projects, and private initiatives of local communities and NGOs.

 

 

The Directorate  of  Soil and Water Conservation of  Department of Agriculture ,Maharashtra State is involved  in  implementation and monitoring of soil and water conservation programmes in Maharshtra state. Agriculture Assistant at village level undertakes soil conservation work, horticulture plantation and various extension schemes. He is supervised by Circle Agriculture Officer at circle level. Administrative control, laison with other departments, monitoring and training programs etc. are facilitated by Taluka Agriculture Officer at taluka level, Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer at sub division level, District Superintending Agriculture Officer at district level and Divisional Joint Director at division level. In addition, Agriculture Officer at Panchayat Samiti level, working under Agriculture Development Officer, Zilla Parishad at district level also implement various agro-inputs related schemes.

All the schemes implemented in the field are supervised technically and administratively by Directorate of Soil Conservation at state level in the Commissionerate of Agriculture under Department of Agriculture Maharshtra State.