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Action plan preparation for conserving land degradation, management of water resources and improving agriculture productivity using GIS



This proposal is designed with an objective to protect degradation of soil and water resources and to improve productivity of land. Need of day is to meet demand of increasing population from limited unexpandable land resources. There is lot of pressure on land to produce more crop, hence potential of land has to be improved

This proposed study will address and deliver four components

  • The first component will be to prepare detail natural resources inventory. This database will include historical and current land use land cover, soil type and derived soil resources, drainage pattern, topography, slope, and climatic zonation. The study area will be further divide considering watershed as unit of development. These watersheds will be analysed based on land charateristics and further categorized based on their quality.  In order to have cost and time effective analysis, geospatial technology will be used for preparing maps and undertaking analysis of natural resources
  • The second important component will be site specific watershed wise detailed plan of action for land development and scientific water resource management plan preparation. This plan of action will help implementing agency in understanding the land area that is suitable for Agriculture and non-agriculture purpose
  • The third major component will be suitability zonation for specific crop cultivation and land that is marginally suitable but needs some intervention to be brought under cultivation. In addition this will also explain on agroforestry, pasture land development and other allied agriculture sector activities that can be taken in non-suitable zones.
  • The fourth component with be on designing monitoring and evaluation guidelines for the implementing agency. In this each action plan is to be monitored and evaluated


The detailed plan document will be helpful in knowing location specific information about quality of land and for growing crop to synchronise with nearby market, buyers, capacity of processing unit 

What actions do you propose?

A.     Phase 1: Pre Field Mapping and Data Creation

Pre-Feasibility study is the step towards input data creation for natural resources thematic map creation, Suitability zoning for land evaluation and Land & water development action planning. In this step, base layer maps will be created to conduct the study. Thematic layers such as Land use Land cover map, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Slope, Physiography/Landform, Drainage Pattern and Contours will be developed from the available data.

LULC Classes: Agriculture, settlements, water bodies (river, streams, canals etc.), forest (dense / open), and wasteland (scrub land and open land).

Due Diligence Survey

A data collection survey would be conducted for the collection of secondary data and GPS collection of LULC classes. The signature pixels at these GPS locations would be used for detailed LULC classification map.

Secondary Data Collection

Secondary data such as maps and statistics on Soil, Geology and climate will be collected from the client or respective departments and soil type and climate map will be prepared from the existing data.

Output: Maps and Reports

Thematic Maps and Statistics

o   Detailed LULC maps and statistics

o   Digital Elevation Model based Slope and elevation maps and statistics

o   Drainage density, pattern and watershed map

o   Landform / physiography / Geomorphology map

o   Pre-field soil

o   Land suitability zonation

Note: These maps will be input for Crop suitability zonation. Detailed soil survey (profile study), soil sample collection and analysis for nutrient status will be required for crop suitability zonation. Based on pre field data, detailed proposal and methodology will be designed for phase 2 study.

B.      Phase 2: Field Survey, Updation of maps and data to develop a detailed plan of action

Detailed Study

Detailed Soil Survey: Soil sampling plots will be analyzed and laid for soil profiling and survey. A group of soil experts will conduct Soil Profiling, Soil Sampling and Soil Analysis.

Thematic Mapping: Thematic maps will be created for Land Use Land Cover, Soil and Climate zone (Rainfall, Humidity and Temperature)

Criteria Development for Agriculture and Agro-forestry Suitability

Based on thematic layers such as soil type, temperature, LULC, slope, etc,, the Expert consultants would analyze and derive criteria which would be categorized as high, medium and low suitable land for crop suitability. Integrated GIS layers analysis will be performed to create suitability zone maps for crops, alternate crops and agro-forestry in the study area.

Land Resource Development Planning

As per the categories, the implementing agency / farmers group client can plan for crop cultivation. The plan document will detail the land activities, water resource development activities and financial section to undertake the activities on ground.

§  Land Resource Development Plan

o   Land clearing for bringing new land for crop cultivation

o   Suggestion of alternate crops in non-crop suitable land

o   Infrastructure development


§  Water Resource Development Plan

o   Suitable site for water harvesting structures

o   Soil conservation methods

o   Irrigation plan


Output : Maps and Reports

Land Development Report

o   Land evaluation and crop suitability

o   Soil derivative maps and report on soil depth, soil texture, soil drainage etc.

o   Soil nutrient status map

o   Land resource development plan


Water Management Report

o   Water harvesting and management Plan

o   Watershed modelling plan

o   Irrigation plan

C.      Phase 3: Development of infrastructure action plan and report on crop produce synchronization with market and processing unit capacity

On completion of land and water resources development plan, third deliverable on detailed plan document will be prepared for growing crop to synchronise with available market, buyers, demand of population, capacity of food processing unit/mill. This document will study the land area that can be cultivated, productivity assessment and additional requirements to meet the capacity of food processing unit/mill or to design the capacity of food processing unit/mill.


This will also include infrastructure plan that will indicate the farm plotting, proposed road network for movement of produce from farm plots to processing unit. This will help in livelihood improvement of farming community within the project blocks.

D.     Monitoring and evaluation guidelines preparation


The final component of proposed project will include monitoring and evaluation guidelines preparation. This document will have monitoring checklists, procedure for change detection studies. The results of first cropping season is to be evaluated as per the proposed plan. In case there is any negative results found, then that particular activity plan has to be revisited and evaluated.  A revised action plan has to designed and submitted and monitored again till a robust holistic model is developed.

Who will take these actions?

The proposed project from its initiation till achieving results is a complete team work and will involve public-private partnership.

GIS Team: This team will initiatite work in generating natural resources inventory and carrying out analysis as input for action plan preparation. This team will requires expertise in GIS and remote sensing, Image processing, GPS based survey, farmers; questionnaire survey expertise. This team also needs domain expertise of Agriculture, Water resources, Land use, Forestry and economics.

Government Support: Government support will be required in data collection. After completion of action plan preparation, government support will be required in working our project budget and allocation of funds from government schemes.

Implementing Agency: Implementing agency are mostly local NGOs or farmers group who are funded by government to undertake such developmental activities. This group will first undertake a stakeholders meeting involving farmers, farmers head, villagers etc to demonstrate the action plan and have their consensus to implement on ground.

Monitring and evaluation team: This team will keep an eye on each activity and its performance. The team will evaluate based on results and redesign the action involving GIS and domain expert team.

Project Management team: This is an important team will be identify the team, train the team, plan the activity, and monitor the fund and time.

Where will these actions be taken?

This proposed work and action can be taken up in one district of India and in One province in eastern Africa as pilot work. With its success, this can be scaled up to other districts or provinces.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

This study will definitely have positive impact on carbon emission.  Soil is largest carbon sink. One with conservation practices, improved agriculture technologies,  minimum usage of  machinery, using coil covers etc will reduce the emission.

With this project soil that is exposed causing emission can be controlled, more area will be brought under green cover, crop residue burning will be stopped and used as mulch etc.

This can be evaluated with emission before start of project and with every end of cropping season.

What are other key benefits?

Key benefits includes:

Development of land and water resources

Bringing more area under agriculture

Improving agriculture through advance practices

Other land use such as forestry and grazing land is maintained and conserved

Farmers are trained

Transfer of technology from lab to land.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The cost of project can be worked out if the proposal is selected, study area is defined

Time line

Timeline depends on the study area. The action plan implemented will have positive impact on land development in 5 to 15 years. Socio-economic condition of farmers will be improved in this period. Medium term benefit will be quality of soil and water will be improved which have impact on less usage of chemical fertilizers and Long term will be ecological benefit where it have quality environment, ecological balance, biodiversity etc. 

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