- February 2, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context- There is emphasis in the Budget on diversiﬁcation towards high value agriculture, as also deﬁcitagri-commodities.
Stepping of the Budget into smart agriculture is further galvanised by supplementing production technology with digital technology. ‘Kisan Drones’ will take care of the plurality of issues all along the value chain.
Dryland Agriculture in India:
- India has 143 million ha of its geographical area under cropping, out of which 113 m ha has the potential to be irrigated, thus, 30 m ha are rainfed agriculture, even if the full potential of irrigation has been utilised.
- Presently, India has 93 m ha (recent data = 100 m ha) under irrigation. Thus, 43 m ha are under rainfed conditions.
- Dryland agriculture (Deficit Cropping) refers to the region or the type of farming which is operated in sub humid to arid conditions with inefficient hydrology, lack of irrigation facilities, complete dependency on monsoon rainfall and reflecting a typical cropping pattern of coarse grains millets and oilseeds, pulses, cotton etc.
Difference between Rainfed and Dryland agriculture
Need for Deficit Crops in India
- India has 1/3rd of its geographical area is under humid conditions, while 2/3rd is sub humid or arid conditions. Thus, deficit crops occupies larger land than the wet agriculture.
- It supports 40% of the population and occupies 66% of land. The ratio needs to be rectified, by increasing the productivity of these region.
- Dryland agriculture is based on the industrial crops e.g. cotton, groundnut, oilseeds, pulses, tobacco. For development of agro processing industries and to make Indian Agriculture more export- oriented, greater emphasis on deficit crops is inevitable.
- Hardy and nutritious cropseg. Jowar, bajra, ragi, pulses, oilseeds, cottonseeds, sunflower, safflower. Thus, the nutrition / malnutrition problems in poor areas can be fought with the help of dryland agriculture.
- It involves cash cropping, E.g. Jatropha cultivation can reduce the magnitude of petroleum crisis since liquid produced by it can be added to petroleum products without reducing the efficiency.
- Deficit crops have the potential to produce fodder and cattle feed. Thus, it can help in white revolution. Also, here the pasture lands are more extensive and cattle breeds have greater per-capital yield.
Some other methods to reduce water usage in Agriculture
- System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has been adopted by several farmers especially in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh as a water-conserving method of paddy cultivation. The technique needs a bigger push from the Centre to make it a universal concept.
- Conservation techniques like zero-tillage, raised-bed planting, precision farming and drip or sprinkler irrigation have shown good results in soil and water conservation but needs further improvement in technology for wider acceptance.
- Organic and nature based farming: Studies have shown that organic farming conserves water by requiring less water in irrigation and also helps in improving water-storage capacity of soil by improving its health.