Dry land agriculture is the agriculture which limits the crop growth to a part of the year due to lack of sufficient moisture. 68 per cent of the cultivated area in Indian agriculture comes under dryland, which contributes about 44 per cent of the total food production and plays a critical role in India’s food security
What is Dry land?
Drylands are areas with low soil moisture, high evapotranspiration which results in water deficit prevailing throughout the year
Dry land areas in India
Dry land agriculture area in India includes the north western desert regions of Rajasthan, the plateau region of central India, the alluvial plains of Ganga Yamuna river basin, the central highlands of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the rain shadow regions of Deccan in Maharashtra, the Deccan Plateau of Andhra Pradesh and the Tamil Nadu highlands
Characteristics of dryland agriculture
- Rainfall: Low rainfall is most important characteristics of drylands.
- Soil: The major causes for land degradation include the chemical degradation of soil, loss of soil structure and texture, loss of natural vegetation leading to soil erosion
- Drought: The extensive climatic hazards are seen in drylands as the soils are weak and can be subjected to environmental stress to a higher level, leading to further land degradation. Drought is a common scenario in drylands as water availability is less further leading to low productivity
- Poor economic status of farmers: Economic status and of living of farmers is low in drylands, due to the less choice of the crops that are grown in these areas
- Extensive agriculture: Prevalence of monocropping extensively makes farm lands lack of nutrients and result in reduction of yield
Problems of dry land Agriculture
- Low moisture retention: The crops raised suffers due to lack of moisture whenever prolonged dry spells occur due to their low moisture holding capacity
- Low Soil Fertility: Due to lack of adequate soil moisture, the soil fertility is low and there is limited scope for extensive use of chemical fertilizers.
- Prolonged Dry spells: Long breaks in the rainy season are an important feature of Indian monsoon. These intervening dry spells when prolonged during crop period reduces crop growth and yield and when unduly prolonged crops fail
Dry land Technologies
- Water shed management
- Rainwater Conservation and Harvesting
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