Based on participatory assessment of the constraints faced and potential as well as yield gap analysis using crop simulation models in consultation with the community, interventions such as rainwater harvesting, soil moisture conservation, soil fertility management, use of drought-tolerant high-yielding varieties, land and water management practices and integrated pest management options were introduced in partnership with the community (see Box at the end of the article). The model was started in India and scaled out in China, Thailand and Vietnam.

A range of positive effects

Improving water availability. The ICRISAT model ensured improved productivity (see Figure above) with the adoption of cost-efficient water harvesting structures as an entry point for improving livelihoods. This was made possible with the efficient management of rainwater and in-situ conservation, establishment of water harvesting structures and improved groundwater levels. In Bundi, Rajasthan, for example, water levels in the wells were enhanced by an increased groundwater recharge of 5.7 metres, which permitted an expansion in the irrigated area from 207 to 343 hectares.