WHY

Rainfed Areas have always been home to:

  • Diverse crop systems that integrate livestock systems
  • Diverse and extensive livestock systems well adapted to fluxes in fodder availability
  • Household consumption patterns that are diverse including a range of millets, pulses, leafy vegetables, meat etc.
  • Have water bodies and aquifers with varying seasonality of filling, due to the highly variable rainfall patterns and that cannot sustain intensive exploitation.

Rainfed Areas at present are characterized by :

Mix of Topographies

Varied Agro-Climatic conditions

Marginal soils

Remote locations with poor access institutions

Crop loss due to dry spells

Distant markets

Rainfed Agriculture contributes to:

40%

RICE

89%

MILLETS

69%

OILSEEDS

88%

PULSES

73%

COTTON

In spite of the large contribution to agricultural production, much of the agricultural policies and programs developed are highly tilted towards irrigated agriculture and exclude rainfed areas at the design stage.

Agricultural areas where less than 40 percent of the sown area is irrigated are defined as rainfed. 

MAP of rainfed and irrigated districts

 

  • This map shows the variation in rainfed districts by representing them with different grades of orange colour.
  • Irrigated districts are represented by one shade of blue .
  • This shows that several pockets of high rainfedness stand out – one each in western India, central India, eastern India, and north-eastern India.