Suhas P Wani, Director of ICRISAT Development Centre at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been honoured as one of the ‘50 Most Impactful Leaders in Water & Water Management.’ He was given the award at the World Water Leadership Congress held in Mumbai on 17 February.
With 35 years of service in ICRISAT, Dr. Wani was one of the early pioneers in watershed management in India.
“Earlier farm watersheds were implemented in different states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and revisited in 1995-96 to assess the impact. Based on the learnings, except in the use of fertilizer and improved seeds, farmers did not continue other interventions such as soil and water conservation. In 1999, based on these experiences, a new model was developed for enabling community participation and evaluated at Adarsha Watershed in Kothapally,” noted Dr. Wani. He has been a catalyst, contributing to the creation of the Bhoochetana initiative in Karnataka state, a strong partnership that reached 4.75 million farmers in five years, with a 20-66 percent crop increase and total net benefits of $350 million.