Information on Western Dry Region of Agro-Climatic Regions of India

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It comprises western Rajasthan west of the Aravallis. It is characterised by hot sandy desert, erratic rainfall (annual average less than 25 cm), high evaporation, contrasting temperature (June 28°C- 45°C, and January 5°C-22°C), absence of perennial rivers, and scanty vegetation.

Ground water is very deep and often brackish. Famine and drought are common features. Land-man ration is high. Forest area is only 1.2 per cent. Land under pastures is also low (4.3 per cent). Cultivable waste and fallow lands account for nearly 42 per cent of the geographical area. Net irrigated area is only 6.3 per cent of net sown area which is 44.4 per cent of the geographical area. Bajra, jowar, and moth are main crops of kharif and wheat and gram in rabi. Livestock contributes greatly in desert ecology.

Agricultural development strategies include completion of on-going irrigation projects; making research on the use of saline water; popularising bajra varieties giving higher biomass; promoting use of fertilisers; making improved seeds available to farmers, constructing moisture (rain water) conservation structures; increasing yield level offruits like date palm, water-melon and guava; adopting high quality germ-plasm in cattle to im­prove their breed; and adopting silvi-pastoral sys­tem over wastelands through aerial and manual seeding.

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