“In the resource constrained and dry areas, the farming is a survival mechanism rather than a growth oriented activity.”With this reference bring out various problems faced by farmers in Rainfed Areas

Agriculture in India has been practiced since the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. The rank of India is second in terms of the total farm output. About 50% of India’s population is associated with the agricultural sector that contributes 17% of India’s GDP. After India’s independence, several revolutions have taken place that helped the poverty alleviation program and ensures food security.


In the past, the rainfed farming system was mainly dependent upon the locally available inputs like seeds, manures, animal draft and used to grow a number of crops, which were able to withstand drought-like situations. But the situations have changed today. The cropping system is facing difficulties due to costly inputs. The farming became a risky venture and this led to increased distress of farmers.

Problems in rainfed areas

Rainfed areas are highly diverse in characteristics. It is ranging from resource-rich areas to resource-constrained areas. Some areas are highly productive in nature and have experienced widespread adoption of technology. But maximum areas are resource-constrained and arid. A total of 60% of the total net sown area in India comes under rainfed lands. It accounts for 48% area under food crops and 68% under non-food crops. The rank of India is first among the rainfed agricultural countries in the world.

  • The huge population pressure on agricultural lands causes poverty to be concentrated in rainfed regions.
  • In the resource-constrained and dry areas, farming is a survival mechanism rather than a growth-oriented activity.
  • The climate in India’s rainfed regions is facing problems like water scarcity for rainfed crop production.
  • The climate is largely semi-arid and dry sub-humid in nature.
  • Rainfall is highly uneven which leads to the risks of dry spells at critical growth stages even during good rainfall years.
  • The problems are due to the factors affecting atmospheric circulation and linked to the ENSO phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.

Way ahead

The National Rainfed Area Authority has been established to focus the attention on the rainfed areas of India. This advisory body formulated some guidelines to be followed for the Watershed Development Project in consultation with all the states for implementation.


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