Dry Land Farming in India

Dry farming or Dry Land Farming refers to an improved system of cultivation whereby maximum amount of water is conserved by soil and water management. It involves efficient system of soil and crop management in the regions of low land and uneven distributed rainfall.

Importance of Dry land Farming for India

Considering the present rate of development of irrigation facilities and also water potentiality of the country, it is estimated that at any point of time 50% of cropped area in India will remain under Rainfed farming system. Such vast areas as of now consume hardly 25% of total fertilizer consumption of the country. Due to poor level of management, crop productivity is also very low resulting in socio – economic backwardness of the people.

Dry land farming is different from Rainfed farming. The difference is given in below table:

ConstituentsDryland farmingRainfed farming
Rainfall (mm)< 750>750
MoistureShortageEnough / Sufficient
Growing regionsArid and Semiarid & up lands of sub humid & humid regions.Humid and slub humid regions.
Cropping systemSingle crop or Intercropping or double cropping.
ConstraintsWind and water erosionWater erosion.

Characteristics of Dryland Agriculture

Dry land areas may be characterized by the following features:

  • Uncertain, ill-.distributed and limited annual rainfall;
  • Occurrence of extensive climatic hazards like drought, flood etc;
  • Undulating soil surface;
  • Occurrence of extensive and large holdings;
  • Practice of extensive agriculture i.e. prevalence of mono cropping etc;
  • Relatively large size of fields;
  • Similarity in types of crops raised by almost all the farmers of a particular region;
  • Very low crop yield;
  • Poor market facility for the produce;
  • Poor economy of the farmers; and
  • Poor health of cattle as well as farmers.

Key elements of effective combat with perils of Dryland agriculture

  • Capturing and Conservation of Moisture
  • Effective Use of Available Moisture
  • Soil Conservation
  • Control of Input Costs

Problems of Dry Farming in India

  • Moisture stress and uncertain rainfall
  • Effective storage of rain water
  • Disposal or dry farming products
  • Selection or limited crops
  • Utilization of preserved moisture
  • Quality or the produce

Principal Dry Farming Zones in India

  • The Indo-Gangetic plains of North India
  • The trapian plateau of peninsular India
  • Plateau of granite formation