In India, there are about 4 M ha of ravine lands, which is 1.22 per cent of the total geographical area (328 M ha), spread over 12 states. In Uttar Pradesh, the ravine lands occupy an area of about 1.23 M ha of which 0.18 M ha exists in Agra district on the bank of river Yamuna and its tributaries. The problem of ravines has become a serious threat because the ravines are dynamic and on a conservative estimate it takes annual toll of above 8000 ha of valuable lands of the country. The ever increasing demand of food, fuel and fodder has attracted the attention of the Government of India towards the useful utilization of these otherwise waste lands. Consequently, the Government of India established a network of Soil Conservation Research Demonstration and Training Centre in the country. The soil conservation Research Demonstration and Training Centre, Agra, though established in 1955 as a sub-centre, became an independent center in 1957 with the main objective of developing scientific and technical know how to deal with the problems of ravine lands on the banks of Yamuna river. In order to give a coordinated approach to the problem of soil and water conservation research, in April, 1974 the ICAR upgraded the Dehra Dun Centre to the status of a Research Institute, and redesignated it as the CENTRAL SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE. Consequently, Agra Centre came under the administrative umbrella of the Institute with the present name “Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre Agra.
The Research Centre of Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute at Bellary was established in October 1954 to conduct research on problems related to soil and water conservation on deep black soils of low rainfall region, to extend the results of research to farmers and to impart training in soil and water conservation to the officers/assistants sponsored by the State and Central Governments.The rainfall in the area is very low and amounts to only 500 mm per annum. Since the inception of this Centre, soil conservation measures/practices such as contour cultivation, strip cropping, contour bunding, terracing with rainwater harvesting and recycling, gully plugging etc. have been evaluated/tested for their efficacy in conserving soil and rainwater and for enhancing agricultural production on a sustained basis. Of late, the Centre is also addressing the issues related to red soil (alfisols) region of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh through the watershed programme. The results of research from the Centre are applicable to the deep black soil/ vertisols and its’ associated soils areas with low rainfall covering Bellary, Chitradurga, Raichur, Koppal, Gadag and Bijapur districts of Karnataka State; Kurnool, Cuddapah, Mehboobnagar and Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh and Ahmednagar and Solapur districts of Maharashtra State.
Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Chandigarh, was established on May 8, 1956 under the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India. The administrative control of the Research Centre was transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research with effect from October 1, 1967. Latter, it started functioning as a regional centre of the newly formed Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun, with effect from April, 1974. To carry out field demonstrations and conducting research, the centre has a Research Farm spread over 305 ha area which is located at 30o46/ N latitude and 76o57/ E longitude, at a distance of 8 Km from Chandigarh. Administrative office of the Research Centre is located at Chandigarh.
Central Soil & Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre Datia (MP) came into existence on 18th September 1986 under aegis of CS&WCR&TI, Dehradun (UK) under ICAR, an autonomous body of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, to carry out research and develop technologies for sustained production and natural resource management / conservation on arable and non arable lands of Bundelkhand region. Research centre Datia is working within the mandate of the institute. Its major objective is to conduct research and develop the technologies for tackling the water scarcity and land degradation problems of the region and to demonstrate them on farmer’s fields on watershed basis for increasing the production and productivity in Bundelkhand region. In this context centre is taking up research, extension and capacity building activities for conserving water and soil, mitigating land degradation and increasing production and productivity of arable and non-arable lands in the Bundelkhand region within broad approaches and framework of the Central Soil and water conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun.
The Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute (CSWCRTI), Research Centre, Sunabeda, Koraput District in Odisha State was established in June, 1992. This is youngest and eighth Research Centers of CSWCRTI Dehradun to cater the problems of the eco-sensitive tribal region of Eastern Ghats in Agro Eco Region–12 through undertaking research, development, extension/outreach & capacity building activities in the field of soil and water conservation, water resource development & watershed management.The Eastern Ghats region though bestowed with rich and diversified natural resources, yet suffers from various land degradation problems due to shifting cultivation, deforestation, mining activities and other socio-economic constraints. As per the harmonized data base on land degradation, an area of 17.07 M ha land area is suffering from various forms of land degradation in the Eastern region. Over a period, the research centre has developed number of cost effective conservation measures for enhancing the productivity of arable and non-arable lands in the region
The Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Kota (Rajasthan) was established in October, 1954, by the ministry of Food and Agriculture, (Govt. of India) to conduct research on problems related to ravine lands of Chambal river system. It is situated near Kota Junction railway station on the right bank of Chambal River. During over fifty years of its existence this premier institution pioneered research and training programmes committed towards development and dissemination of suitable technologies for reclamation and productive utilization of ravines and adjoining marginal lands. Out of the estimated 3.6 million ha of ravine lands in India specific target area of the centre has been 0.45 million ha located along the Chambal river system. The centre has developed and evaluated technological options for arresting ravine extension, reclamation of ravine lands . It has also established itself as a premier centre for imparting training at different levels in the field of soil and water conservation, agroforestry and watershed management. Keeping abreast with the changing scenario the centre is taking up new areas of research like updating technology for appraisal of status and extent of gully erosion, managing soil cracks in vertisols, water budgeting of land use systems, carbon budgeting of land use systems, evaluation of fruit and medicinal plants for ravines and degraded lands, management techniques for reducing gestation period and efficient resource utilization in non-arable lands, vulnerability analysis of livelihood support systems etc.
Central soil and water conservation research, demonstration and training Centre, Udhagamandalam was established in October, 1954 by the Central Soil Conservation Board, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi. In 1967, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) took over this centre along with seven other centres and subsequently brought under the control of the Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute (CSWCRTI), Dehradun in 1975. This Centre caters to the needs of Soil and Water Conservation and Watershed management in the high rainfall hilly regions of the Southern India covering an area of 2,11,500 sq. km representing nearly 62 per cent of the red soil region of India. The Centre represents Agro-Ecological Region No. 19, characterized with hot humid per humid eco region with red, lateritic and alluvium derived soils.
The serious soil erosion and social problem of ravines attracted the urgent attention of the Government of India during the first five year plan. Consequently a chain of nine Central Soil & Water Conservation Research Centres were established by the Govt. of India. The Vasad Centre is one of the Centres established in May 1955. The Centre acquired 139 hectares farm along the Right Bank of river Mahi, which is representative of the problem of the area, in 1956. Subsequently the administrative control of the Centre was transferred to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on 1st October 1967. On 1st April 1974 the Central Soil & Water Conservation Research & Training Institute, Dehradun was formed and this Centre became one of the Research Centres of the Institute. This Centre is situated at Vasad (Western Railway) on the National Highway No.8 (22o 27' 3" N and 73o 7' 0" E) in Anand district of Gujarat at a height of 34.18 m above mean sea level. R&D activities of the Centre focused on evolving strategies of soil and water conservation on watershed basis, tackling special problems of ravine reclamation. A complete package of practices has been developed for protection of ravines while putting it to productive utilization. Popularization of watershed management concept and technologies, strategies for ground water recharge and management, demonstration of technology and imparting training are important activities of the Centre. Experience of the research was made use of by the Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment and Forests, and the Central and State departments in their development programmes. Success of the watershed management programme attracted many development agencies for collaboration and funding support. However, many gaps have remained unsolved and new issues have emerged which need further research and developmental attention. The availability of new tools and procedures like GIS, remote sensing with better resolution and net working have opened new vistas for taking rapid R&D strides. The Centre represents agroecological region No.5 and 6, characterized with hot arid and semiarid eco region with red, lateritic and alluvium derived soils. The rainfall (Annual 840 mm) mostly occurs in four months of June, July, August and September. Daily evaporation ranges from 7 to 10 mm during dry hot months of March to May.