Command Area Development Programme (CAD)

The Command Area Development Programme (CAD) was started initially in December 1974 to improve the irrigation potential utilization and optimize the agricultural production and productivity through integrated and coordinated approach of efficient water management.

Who implements the programme?

The Ministry of Water Resources coordinates and monitors the implementation of CADWM at the national level and the Programme is being implemented through the Command Area Development Authorities (CADAs) at the State level.

Initially, 60 major and medium irrigation projects wear taken up under the CAD Programme, covering a Culturable Command Area (CCA) of about 15.00 million hectare.

During the XII Plan, the Scheme is to be implemented pari-passu with Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP).


  • Bridge the gap between potential created and their utilization through micro level infrastructure development and efficient farm water management practices.
  • Optimization of agricultural productivity & production
  • Improvement in socio-economic conditions of farmers

Main Components of CAD

The Programme includes the following components:

  • On-Farm Development (OFD) works
  • Selection and introduction of suitable cropping pattern.
  • Development of groundwater to supplement surface irrigation.
  • Modernization, maintenance and efficient operation of the irrigation system upto the outlet of one-cusec capacity (irrigation sector).
  • Correction of System Deficiencies
  • Desilting of Tanks in CAD Commands for augmenting supplies
  • Bio-Drainage (selective areas)

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