Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 2277–2296 | Cite as

Identification of resource management domain-specific best practices in the agriculture sector for the Mewat region of Haryana, India

  • Mamta Mehra
  • Chander Kumar SinghEmail author


Agriculture is a complex system which takes into consideration the area-specific biophysical and socioeconomic conditions. However, the existing development and implementation of agriculture-based technology and programs are not area specific. One of the key challenges in this regard is the lack of a proper methodology to identify the area specificity. Resource management domain (RMD) method that incorporates both biophysical and socioeconomic condition has emerged out as a better way to identify area-specific best practices. The RMD method results in the delineation of area RMDs having similar management requirements for the similar land use. In the present study, the RMD method has been used to identify RMD-specific best practices. Focused group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in the delineated RMDs in order to investigate the farmer’s specific needs. The findings of the FGDs were compared with the existing government programs and shared with the local administrative authorities. The local administrative authorities have proposed few programs to bridge the identified gaps between the existing programs and the RMD-specific farming needs; however, it was realized that the proposed programs, though important, are not sufficient enough to completely address the identified RMD-specific challenges. Therefore, they were complemented with the best practices which emerged out from the FGDs, the literature review conducted in the similar settings, based on the interviews with the experts who are well aware of the district. The identified best practices include in situ and ex situ rainwater conservation, use of micro-irrigation system, minimal use of saline groundwater, adoption of a diversified farming system, shift to less water-intensive and saline-tolerant crop varieties, efficient use of fertilizers, crop residue retention, solar irrigation tube wells, community management of forest and water harvesting structures. A road map is also recommended for the implementation of these practices by the district authorities. The findings of the study thus provide an important pathway for the development, management and monitoring of agricultural and natural resource conservation programs.


Biophysical Socioeconomic Resource management domain Focused group discussions Best practices 



The authors would like to acknowledge the guidance of Dr. IP Abrol, Director, Centre for Advancement of Sustainable Agriculture, New Delhi, India, for his continuous support and suggestions in undertaking this research. The information and knowledge shared by the local administrative authorities and scientists was highly valuable. We are also grateful to the farming community of Mewat district for their kind cooperation and active participation during the FGDs.

Supplementary material

10668_2018_134_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 45 kb)


  1. Abichandani, C., & Sen, A. (1977). “MLRU” mapping-a concept of composite mapping unit for integrated land survey [India]. Ann. Arid Zone India.Google Scholar
  2. Abrol, I. (2013). Adaptive research: A critical institutional gap in India’s agricultural research for development system. Current Science, 105, 575.Google Scholar
  3. Abrol, I., Alvo, P., De Coninck, F., Eswaran, H., Fausey, N., Gupta, R., et al. (2012). Advances in soil science: Soil degradation. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Abrol, I., & Chopra, L. (2007). India’s agricultural research and education system—The time for change. Current Science, 93, 758–760.Google Scholar
  5. Agarwal, C., Green, G. M., Grove, J. M., Evans, T. P., & Schweik, C. M. (2002). A review and assessment of land-use change models: Dynamics of space, time, and human choice. Vol. 297, Newton Square, PA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station.Google Scholar
  6. Álvarez-Martínez, J.-M., Suárez-Seoane, S., & De Luis Calabuig, E. (2011). Modelling the risk of land cover change from environmental and socio-economic drivers in heterogeneous and changing landscapes: The role of uncertainty. Landscape and Urban Planning, 101, 108–119. Scholar
  7. Arya, V., Singh, S., Kumar, A., Rao, T., Chaudhary, B., Rao, G., et al. (1999). Mapping of soil and water resources of Mewat area: Problems and their management using remote sensing techniques. Hisar: Haryana State Remote Sensing Application Centre, Haryana Agriculture University.Google Scholar
  8. Atangana, A., Khasa, D., Chang, S., & Degrande, A. (Ed.) (2014). On-farm agroforestry research. In Tropical agroforestry (pp. 277–287). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Babu, S. C., & Reidhead, W. (2000). Monitoring natural resources for policy interventions: A conceptual framework, issues, and challenges. Land Use Policy, 17, 1–11. Scholar
  10. Cash, D. W., Clark, W. C., Alcock, F., Dickson, N. M., Eckley, N., Guston, D. H., et al. (2003). Knowledge systems for sustainable development. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, 100, 8086–8091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Challinor, A. J., Simelton, E. S., Fraser, E. D., Hemming, D., & Collins, M. (2010). Increased crop failure due to climate change: Assessing adaptation options using models and socio-economic data for wheat in China. Environmental Research Letters, 5, 034012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chauhan, D., Singh, U., Yadav, L., Khan, M., Rati, A., Sharma, R., et al. (2007). Comprehensive district agriculture plan C-DAP district Mewat. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna Department of Agriculture Haryana, Haryana.Google Scholar
  13. Christian, C. S., & Stewart, G. A. (1964). Methodology of integrated surveys. Presented at the Conference on Principles and Methods of Integrating Aerial Survey Studies of Natural Resources for Potential Development, UNESCO, Toulouse (FR).Google Scholar
  14. Craswell, E. T., Latham, M., Congrès Mondial de la Science du Sol, 16., Montpellier (FRA), 1998/08/20-26. (1998). The soil, water, and nutrient, management programme: An overview. In Congrès Mondial de La Science Du Sol : Actes = World Congress of Soil Science : Proceedings. Montpellier: ORSTOM.Google Scholar
  15. Debolini, M., Marraccini, E., Rizzo, D., Galli, M., & Bonari, E. (2013). Mapping local spatial knowledge in the assessment of agricultural systems: A case study on the provision of agricultural services. Applied Geography, 42, 23–33. Scholar
  16. Dev, S. M. (2008). Challenges for revival of Indian agriculture. 1st Prof Dayanand Jha Meml. Lect. Natl. Cent. Agric. Econ. Policy Reseach.Google Scholar
  17. Dumanski, J., & Craswell, E. (1998). Resource management domains for evaluation and management of agro-ecological systems. In International Workshop on Resource Management Domains (pp. 1–13).Google Scholar
  18. Eswaran, H., Beinroth, F., & Reich, P. (1998). Biophysical considerations in developing resource management domains. In J. K. Syers (Ed.), Proceedings of Conference on Resources Management Domains, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Published by International Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM). Proceedings (pp. 61–78).Google Scholar
  19. Eswaran, H., Beinroth, F. H., & Virmani, S. M. (2000). Resource management domains: A biophysical unit for assessing and monitoring land quality. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 81, 155–162. Scholar
  20. Evenson, R. E., & Gollin, D. (2003). Assessing the impact of the Green Revolution, 1960 to 2000. Science, 300, 758–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Faroda, A., & Joshi, D. C. (1999). Agro-ecological zones of North-Western hot arid region of India. Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur.Google Scholar
  22. Forrester, J., Cook, B., Bracken, L., Cinderby, S., & Donaldson, A. (2015). Combining participatory mapping with Q-methodology to map stakeholder perceptions of complex environmental problems. Applied Geography, 56, 199–208. Scholar
  23. Garnett, T., Appleby, M., Balmford, A., Bateman, I., Benton, T., Bloomer, P., et al. (2013). Sustainable intensification in agriculture: Premises and policies. Science, 341, 33–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. HAU, Haryana. (2014). Achieving Improved Livelihood Security through Resource Conservation and Diversified Farming Systems approach in Mewat. National Agricultural Innovation Project (Indian Council of Agricultural Research).Google Scholar
  25. Hazell, P. B. (2009). The Asian green revolution. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  26. Herrmann, S., & Osinski, E. (1999). Planning sustainable land use in rural areas at different spatial levels using GIS and modelling tools. Landscape and Urban Planning, 46, 93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoffmann, V., Probst, K., & Christinck, A. (2007). Farmers and researchers: How can collaborative advantages be created in participatory research and technology development? Agriculture and Human Values, 24, 355–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Howlett, D. (1998). Application of resource management domains in Small Island Countries. In J. K. Syers (Ed.), Proceedings of Conference on Resources Management Domains, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Published by International Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM). Proceedings.Google Scholar
  29. Jakku, E., & Thorburn, P. (2010). A conceptual framework for guiding the participatory development of agricultural decision support systems. Agricultural Systems, 103, 675–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kam, S., Nhan, N., Tuong, T., Hoanh, C., Nam, V. B., & Maunahan, A. (2006). 15 Applying the resource management domain (RMD) concept to land and water use and management in the coastal zone: Case study of Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. In C. T. Hoanh, T. P. Tuong, J. W. Gowing, B. Hardy (Ed.), Environment and Livelihoods in Tropical Coastal Zones: Managing agriculture-fishery-aquaculture conflicts (pp. 193–205).Google Scholar
  31. Kaur, R., Minhas, P., Jain, P., Singh, P., & Dubey, D. (2009). Geo-spatial analysis of land–water resource degradation in two economically contrasting agricultural regions adjoining national capital territory (Delhi). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 154, 65–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Khan, S. (2007). Groundwater information booklet: Mewat District. Haryana Government of India Indian Ministry of Water Resources. Central Ground Water Board. Cgwb Gov InDistrict ProfileHaryanaMewat Pdf.Google Scholar
  33. Koohafkan, P., Nachtergaele, F., & Antoine, J. (1998). Use of agro-ecological zones and resource management domains for sustainable management of African wetlands. Wetland Characterization and Classification for Sustainable Agricultural Development, FAO/SAFR, Rome.Google Scholar
  34. Kumar, R. (2005). Constraints facing Indian agriculture: Need for policy intervention. Indian Journal Agricultural Economics, 60(1), 49–59.Google Scholar
  35. Ladha, J., Dawe, D., Pathak, H., Padre, A., Yadav, R., Singh, B., et al. (2003). How extensive are yield declines in long-term rice–wheat experiments in Asia? Field Crops Research, 81, 159–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lee, D. R. (2005). Agricultural sustainability and technology adoption: Issues and policies for developing countries. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 87, 1325–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCown, R. (2001). Learning to bridge the gap between science-based decision support and the practice of farming: Evolution in paradigms of model-based research and intervention from design to dialogue. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 52, 549–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Meera, S. N., Jhamtani, A., & Rao, D. (2004). Information and communication technology in agricultural development: A comparative analysis of three projects from India. Network Paper No 135.Google Scholar
  39. Mehla, R., Verma, J., Gupta, R., & Hobbs, P. (2000). Stagnation in the productivity of wheat in the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Zero-till-seed-cum-fertilizer drill as an integrated solution. Rice–Wheat Consortium Paper Series, 8, 12.Google Scholar
  40. Mehra, M., Bakimchandra, O., & Singh, C. (2016). Integrated assessment of groundwater for agricultural use in Mewat district of Haryana, India using geographical information system (GIS). Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 44(5), 747–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mehra, M., & Singh, C. K. (2016). Spatial analysis of soil resources in the Mewat district in the semi-arid regions of Haryana, India. Environment, Development and Sustainability. Scholar
  42. Mehra, M., Singh, C. K., Abrol, I. P., & Oinam, B. (2017). A GIS-based methodological framework to characterize the resource management domain (RMD): A case study of Mewat district, Haryana, India. Land Use Policy, 60, 90–100. Scholar
  43. Munyua, H., & Stilwell, C. (2010). A mixed qualitative-quantitative-participatory methodology: A study of the agricultural knowledge and information system (AKIS) of small-scale farmers in Kirinyaga District, Kenya. Library Management, 31, 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Murgai, R. (2001). The Green Revolution and the productivity paradox: Evidence from the Indian Punjab. Agricultural Economics, 25, 199–209. Scholar
  45. Murgue, C., Therond, O., & Leenhardt, D. (2016). Hybridizing local and generic information to model cropping system spatial distribution in an agricultural landscape. Land Use Policy, 54, 339–354. Scholar
  46. Nambiar, K. K. M., Gupta, A. P., Fu, Q., & Li, S. (2001). Biophysical, chemical and socio-economic indicators for assessing agricultural sustainability in the Chinese coastal zone. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Papers from the European Union Concerted Action: Unification of Indicator Quality for the Assessment of Impact of Multidisciplinary Systems (UNIQUAIMS) 87, 209–214.
  47. Pingali, P. L., Rosegrant, M. W., Lee, D., & Barrett, C. (2001). Intensive food systems in Asia: Can the degradation problems be reversed? In D. Lee, C. Barrett (Ed.), Tradeoffs or Synergies. Agricultural Intensification, Economic Development and the Environment (pp. 383–397).Google Scholar
  48. Porter, M. E. (2000). Location, competition, and economic development: Local clusters in a global economy. Economic Development Quarterly, 14, 15–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Prasad, J. (2008). A baseline survey of minority concentration districts Of India. Delhi: Institute for Human Development.Google Scholar
  50. Pretty, J. (2008). Agricultural sustainability: Concepts, principles and evidence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363, 447–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ram, B., & Joshi, D. C. (2010). Resource management domain (RMD)—A concept for sustainable agricultural development in hot arid regions of India. Arid Land Research and Management, 24, 164–180. Scholar
  52. Ray, D. K., Ramankutty, N., Mueller, N. D., West, P. C., & Foley, J. A. (2012). Recent patterns of crop yield growth and stagnation. Nature Communications, 3, 1293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rosset, P., Collins, J., & Lappe, F. M. (2000). Lessons from the Green Revolution. Third World Resurgence, 11–14.Google Scholar
  54. Sai, L. (1998). Decision making domain in Malaysia. In J. K. Syers (Ed.), Proceedings of Conference on Resources Management Domains, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Published by International Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM). Proceedings. Google Scholar
  55. Scanlon, B. R., Jolly, I., Sophocleous, M., & Zhang, L. (2007). Global impacts of conversions from natural to agricultural ecosystems on water resources: Quantity versus quality. Water Resources Research, 43(3), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Serra, P., Pons, X., & Saurí, D. (2008). Land-cover and land-use change in a Mediterranean landscape: A spatial analysis of driving forces integrating biophysical and human factors. Applied Geography, 28, 189–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Singh, R. (2000). Environmental consequences of agricultural development: A case study from the Green Revolution state of Haryana, India. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 82, 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Singh, R. K. (Ed). (2007). Indigenous agricultural knowledge in rainfed rice based farming systems for sustainable agriculture: Learning from Indian farmers. In Indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable development: Relevance for Africa (pp. 101–110). New Delhi: Kamla Raj Enterprises.Google Scholar
  59. Singh, D., Chohan, D., Khan, M.., Sharma, R. N., Singh, N., Malik, P., et al. (2008). Strategic research & extension plan of district-Mewat, Haryana. Agricultural Technology Management Agency.Google Scholar
  60. Stoop, W. A., Adam, A., & Kassam, A. (2009). Comparing rice production systems: A challenge for agronomic research and for the dissemination of knowledge-intensive farming practices. Agricultural Water Management, 96, 1491–1501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Swain, M., & Das, D. K. (2008). Participatory irrigation management in India: Implementations and gaps. Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture, 3, 28–39.Google Scholar
  62. Tilman, D., Cassman, K. G., Matson, P. A., Naylor, R., & Polasky, S. (2002). Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature, 418, 671–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Van Berkel, D. B., & Verburg, P. H. (2011). Sensitising rural policy: Assessing spatial variation in rural development options for Europe. Land Use Policy, 28, 447–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Venkateswarlu, B., & Prasad, J. (2012). Carrying capacity of Indian agriculture: Issues related to rainfed agriculture. Current Science, 102, 882–888.Google Scholar
  65. Vermeulen, S. J., Aggarwal, P. K., Ainslie, A., Angelone, C., Campbell, B. M., Challinor, A., et al. (2012). Options for support to agriculture and food security under climate change. Environmental Science & Policy, 15, 136–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Analytical and Geochemistry Laboratory, Department of Energy and EnvironmentTERI School of Advanced StudiesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations