Development Strategies of Dry Zone Agriculture in India

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Following development strategies may be undertaken for the development of agriculture in dry land areas.

1. In dry farming areas efforts should be made to store rain water through contour bonding, em­bankments and dams.

2. Crop varieties resistant to dry conditions should be developed and popularised in these areas.

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3. Efforts should be made to check the prob­lem of soil erosion by adopting soil conservation measures and to reclaim degraded lands through scientific techniques.

4. In non-irrigated areas the rain water should be stored in tanks, reservoirs (upon and below the surface) to be used in the months for agriculture.

5. Four time per month tilling of the land during rainy season, wide gaps between plants and mixed cropping may prove advantageous in such areas.

6. Quick and late maturing crops depending upon rainfall conditions may be sown to avoid crop failure and improve agricultural harvest.

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7. The sowing period and variety of crops should be decided on the basis of the arrival, dura­tion and amount of rainfall.

8. Crops like rice requiring more moisture should be confined to the lower parts of the catch­ment areas of the tank and reservoirs.

9. Crops like sun flower, mustard etc. may be popularised in the areas of scarce rainfall.

10. Cotton should be grown in those areas where rainfall is more dependable.

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11. There should be proper use of weedicides to remove weeds. Similarly pesticides and chemi­cals should be used to control pests and diseases. These should be gradually replaced by eco-friendly bio-technological measures.

12. Soil fertility should be restored by the application of fertilizers (both chemical and bio).

13. Researches should be promoted on dry zone agriculture by involving both the government and private agencies and efforts should be made to focus attention on eco-farming or sustainable agri­culture.

There is a need to prepare an integrated and comprehensive plan for all round development of dry zone areas based on the optimum utilisation of the biotic and biotic resources of these areas. Here along with agriculture efforts should also be made to supplement farmers’ income through the develop­ment of dairy, poultry farming, horticulture, sericulture, forestry, sheep rearing, and pig rearing etc.

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