Premkumar, P.D.

Participatory Rural Appraisal in PIDOW Context

This paper discusses the impact of adopting PRA on the PIDOW (Participative Integrated Development of Watersheds) project by the NGO MYRADA in India. Initial experience of PRA fieldwork applied to watershed management projects led to the adoption of participatory planning and to sharing of experiences between government teams in local watershed areas. Attempts to further this approach encountered the limitations of government norms, but efforts continued to expand PRA approaches to project planning.

Farmers are Engineers

Farmers have developed their own highly competant and often very technical ways of dealing with farming problems and land degredation. Such measures, for example erosion control or water channelling structure, have been developed from indigenous knowledge of the conditions, and are easily maintained by existing local skills. Here, it is recognised that the farmer has both engineering and managerial skills, which enable soil conservation measures to be carried out. The limits both to ITK and farmer innovations are also recognised, and the need for a compromise is stressed.