System of Promoting Appropriate National Dynamism
for Agriculture and Nutrition


Rainfed Agriculture in India: Issues in Technology Development and Transfer

Publisher: Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture

Indian economy is mainly dependent on agriculture, which contributes 21 per cent of the country’s GDP and 60 per cent of the employment . Rainfed agriculture occupies 67 percent net sown area, contributing 44 percent of food grains and supporting 40 percent of the population. In view of the growing demand for food grains in the country, there is a need to increase the productivity of rainfed areas from the current 1 t ha-1 to 2 t ha-1 in the next two decades. The quality of natural resources in the rainfed ecosystem is gradually declining due to over exploitation. Rainfed areas suffer from bio-physical and socio economic constraints affecting the productivity of crops and livestock. In this context a number of economically viable rainfed technologies have been discussed. These include soil and rainwater conservation measures, efficient crops and cropping systems matching to the growing season, suitable implements for timely sowing and saving of labour, integrated nutrient and pest management (INM and IPM). To provide stability to farm income during drought and to utilize the marginal lands, different alternative land use systems like silvipasture, rainfed horticulture and tree farming systems were evolved and demonstrated on watershed basis. Integration of livestock with arable farming systems and incorporation of indigenous knowledge in farming systems perspective are also discussed. Formation of self help groups, use of innovative extension tools like portable rainfall simulators and focus group discussions to help for quick spread of the rainfed technologies in the farmers’ fields are highlighted. The farming systems approach in rainfed agriculture not only helps in addressing income and employment problems but also ensures food security.

Author(s): B. Venkateswarlu | Views(342) | Download (221)

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