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Food Grows Where or where not Water Flows

Dryland agriculture refers to an agricultural system that is totally rainfed. Dryland agriculture is divided into three types based on yearly rainfall.

In arid locations, dry farming is practiced with the aid of moisture

conservation methods. In this area, an alternative land use scheme is recommended.


Why DryLands?

Dryland farming refers to the production of crops in places with an annual rainfall of more than 750 mm but less than 1150 mm. Dry periods are common, but crop

failures are uncommon. Crop failures are prevalent due to prolonged dry periods throughout the growing season.

The major cause of moisture deficiency in these locations is higher evapotranspiration (ET) than total precipitation. In semi-arid locations, soil and moisture conservation techniques are essential for dryland farming. In black soil, a drainage infrastructure may be necessary.

Rainfed agriculture refers to the production of crops in areas where the annual rainfall is greater than 1150 mm. Dry periods are less likely to cause crop failures. When there is enough rain, drainage becomes a major issue in rainfed farming. This type of farming is done in humid climates.

Problems & Prospects of Dryland Agriculture :

  1. Out of 143.8 million hectares of agricultural land in our nation, 33 percent is irrigated, while 67 percent is dryland and rainfed. The total area under cultivation is 187.94 mha.

  2. Dryland agriculture accounts for roughly 44% of total food grain output in the United States. After fully utilizing all irrigation sources, the maximum irrigated area will be attained at 50%.

  3. In this approach, 50 percent of the farmed area would remain unirrigated, and dryland may contribute up to 75 percent of total foodgrain output after complete exploitation.

Crops of Dry Land agriculture

Pulses and oilseeds are the most common crops cultivated in

these locations.

Cotton, Castor, and Groundnut, as well as all coarse grains including Jowar, Bajra, and Maize, are all rainfed. This region also produces the majority of milk, beef, wool skins, bonemeal, and other products:

1. SORGHUM- For ages, sorghum has been considered a part of a healthy diet.

Regular eating of sorghum grains has various health benefits, the most important of which is the prevention of cancer due to the uncommon antioxidants found in the grain's bran layer.

2. BAJRA - Bajra is a staple food for the impoverished. It is utilized not only for

human consumption but also for animal use. It is commonly planted in drought-

prone locations, as well as areas with low soil fertility, high salt, and high

temperature, since it thrives in drylands with little rainfall.

3. CORN- Corn is a food that promotes growth and can even aid weight gain. It has

all of the nutrients your body need, including selenium, which is frequently difficult

to come by in other foods. Corn, which is high in antioxidants including vitamin E and polyphenols, is renowned for its potential to help prevent cancer. Corn decreases the quantity of harmful cholesterol in your system, which protects your heart.


Dry agricultural areas have very poor yields that are highly

unpredictable and unreliable-

(a)The inadequacy and unpredictability of rainfall, as well as its irregular distribution, are problems in dryland agriculture. The average annual rainfall is 650 mm, although 80 percent of that is obtained during the monsoon season, which lasts 75-90 days.

(b) Rain that starts late and stops early.

(c) Long dry spells during the cropping season,

(d) Moisture retention capability is insufficient.

(e) A deficiency in soil fertility.

(f) Technological and developmental constraints.

(g) Limited infrastructure development and improper and untimely availability of credits and agricultural inputs.

There are three types of agriculture possible in Dryland areas-

(i) Crop production

(ii) Animal husbandry with pastures management and

(iii) Agroforestry

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- Ritika Pandey


(winner Shuruwaatagri-BWC 1.0)

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