Mains- Answer writing practice: Rain fed agriculture #167

Mains- Answer writing practice: Rain fed agriculture

What is rain fed agriculture? Discuss the challenges India faces in this context. (200 words)

Model Answer

Rain fed agriculture is a form of agriculture that depends on rain water for its irrigation. Rain-fed areas contribute  cover 65 percent of the net sown area.
In addition to contributing to major production of millets, pulses, cotton, oilseeds, and around 40 per cent rice production, rainfed agriculture also supports livestock economy.
However, it is marred by certain challenges such as:
Low public investments in rainfed areas as against irrigated areas.
Lower remuneration:  farmers in rainfed areas earn only 20-30 per cent from farm-related activities as against other farmers. Market access is also a major problem due to lack of rural road infrastructure.
Low procurement under Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime: The pricing policy is also biased in favour of certain crops. 
Misalignment of cultivation practices: Cultivation of water intensive crops in rain fed areas further worsens the situations. For e.g. it is argued that sugarcane cultivation in fact is the main reason for the drought in Marathwada.
Lack of research and development: Lab to land transfer of technology in these areas remains dismal. Also, various hybrid seeds are not suitable for rain fed areas due to lack of water and thus hampering any efforts to attain higher yield.
Climate change: Changing soil composition and variability of rainfall in wake of climate change is also a major challenge.

There is urgent need to educate farmers and reorient Krishi Vigyan Kendra and other grass root organizations with specific and more funds for better risk coping measures.

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