In recent years, there is growing opinion on the need to initiate soil and water conservation, to develop watersheds and to provide protective and supplementary irrigation particularly to wastelands, drylands, hill terrains etc., for enhancing production and produtivity.

Most of the rural development models considered natural resource management as the means for rural transformation. The present paper reveals the impact of one such rural development models named "Adarsh Gaon Yojana" of Government of Maharashtra, which is based on natural resource management and watershed management.

This paper is based on the empirical findings from the Supervision Mission of a project funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The mission visited the two project districts from 3 May to 17 May 2004 and conducted assessment on the on-going programmes in Karbi Anglong District of Assam and Ukhrul District of Manipur. One of the main objectives of the Supervision Mission which the author of this paper is supposed to examine is the socio-cultural dimensions of poverty.

Self-Help Group and linkage banking programme has come a long way from a small pilot project of NABARD to become a major poverty financing programme in India. Several organisations have participated in the country-wide programme with several models, but the essence remained the banking linkage through groups of poor women. DHAN Foundation's programme named as Kalanjiam Community Banking Programme is one such big programme in the country with projects being operated across several blocks in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The study conducted in Jalgaon and Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra showed two differing scenarios insofar as the impact of milk cooperatives on production and marketed surplus is concerned. While milk cooperatives had positive and significant impact on both production and marketed surplus of milk in Kolhapur district, such impact could not be ascertained in Jalgaon district.