Watershed & Forest Development
Why is transformation needed in this program area?
A third element of sustainable land management is watershed and forestry development, which focuses on rehabilitating degraded landscapes and arresting degradation. This in turn protects the natural resource base for sustained growth in agricultural production over the long run; and, contributes to carbon sequestration (i.e., climate change mitigation). Considerable investments are already being made in watershed development and afforestation of higher elevations to reduce water runoff, contain soil erosion, reduce changeability in localized weather patterns and serve as a buffer against desertification. Indeed, agricultural transformation will not be sustained with a sole focus on efficient production practices (and agricultural commercialization) without complementary interventions to protect the natural resource base on which agriculture is so dependent.
Currently, watershed/forestry development programs are carried out as public works—through government funding and government-led campaigns that mobilize rural households outside of their normal agricultural activities. To integrate this with farming and further encourage practices that protect the natural resource base on both private farmlands and on community lands, it is necessary to help develop income sources and incentives related to such practices; and, to develop widely acceptable modalities for the sharing of benefits from environmental protection. This program area will therefore promote sustainable agricultural transformation through the development of incentive structures for environmental protection.
What are the objectives of this program area during GTP II?
The objective of the program area is to promote the protection of the natural resources base, on which agricultural production depends, by developing (1) related income sources and incentive structures; and, (2) widely accepted modalities for the sharing of benefits from environmental protection.
What are the focus areas of this program?
This is a new area for the agricultural transformation agenda. The focus of the program will therefore initially be to assess/identify key systemic bottlenecks in the sub-sector with a particular focus on the development of income sources and incentives (including the development of value chains for forest products) to promote investments in watershed and forestry development.