NABARD has been involved in implementation of watershed projects as a project holder under the Indo German Watershed Development Programme(IGWDP) in Maharashtra since 1992. Subsequently, the programme was extended to cover Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Realizing the benefits accrued to the watershed communities under IGWDP, NABARD decided to replicate the watershed models in priority States, by setting up the Watershed Development Fund (WDF) during 1999-2000 with an initial corpus of `.200 crore contributed by GoI and NABARD in equal proportion.
As many as 19 States covered under WDF and implement watershed projects both on loan and grant basis. Besides these two programmes, NABARD was entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of watershed projects in eight districts of South Bihar by the Planning Commission out of the funds allocated under Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana to the Government of Bihar during 2004. In addition to the above, NABARD took over the balance funds allocated by the Prime Minister’s Office under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for implementation / drought proofing of 10 villages in Bhuj, Gujarat during 2005.
During 2006, NABARD was also made responsible for development of 9.30 lakh ha on watershed basis in the 31 identified distressed districts in the States of Maharashtra (6), Andhra Pradesh (16), Karnataka (6) and Kerala (3) under the Prime Minister’s Relief Package. All these watershed programmes are being implemented with the wholehearted participation of the village communities including the land less and women.