Policy bias against rainfed agriculture

  1. A new rainfed agriculture atlas has been released recently released by the Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network.
  2. The atlas not only maps the agro biodiversity and socio-economic conditions prevailing in such areas, but also attempts to document the policy biases that are making farming unviable for many in these areas.
  3. The term Rainfed agriculture is used to describe farming practices that rely on rainfall for water.Most of these districts are the country’s poorest.
  4. The challenges that are present in Rainfed agriculture are: (a) Three out of five farmers in India grow their crops using rainwater, instead of irrigation but government schemes and procurement policies are not targeted towards them and (b) There has been “negligence” toward rainfed areas which is leading to lower incomes for farmers in these areas.
  5. Government has constituted a National Rainfed Area Authority(NRAA) in 2006 to give focused attention to the problems of rainfed areas of country.The Authority is an advisory, policymaking and monitoring body charged with examining guidelines in various existing schemes and in the formulation of new schemes including all externally aided projects in this area.