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Rainfed Farming System

  • Overview

    Rainfed Farming System

    Rainfed agriculture occupies about 54% of country’s net sown area, and accounts for 40% of the total of food production. Rainfed agriculture is complex, diverse and risk prone. It is characterized by low levels of productivity and input usage coupled with vagaries of monsoon emanating from climate change, result in wide variation and instability in yields. In view of the growing demand for food grains in the country, there is a need to develop and enhance the productivity of rainfed areas. If managed properly, these areas have tremendous potential to contribute a larger share in food production and faster agricultural growth compared to irrigated areas which have reached a plateau.

  • Programmes & Schemes & New Initiatives

    National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture(NMSA)

    The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), which is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) seeks to address issues associated with climate change. Adaptation and mitigation strategies need to address food security, equitable access of food resources, enhancing livelihood opportunities and contributing to economic stability of the people at the end. Mission, therefore, focuses to transform Indian agriculture into a climate resilient production system through suitable adaptation and mitigation measures mainly in the domain of crops and animal husbandry. Mission interventions are judiciously embedded in research and development activities, absorption of improved technology and best practices, creation of physical and financial infrastructure and institutional framework, facilitating access to information and capacity building. While dryland agriculture will receive focused importance by way of developing suitable drought and pest resistant crop varieties with necessary institutional support, the mission would also expand its coverage to rainfed areas for integrating farming systems in farms with local agroecology and also in management of livestock and fisheries, so that the agricultural production system continues to grow in a sustainable manner on one hand and natural resources are also conserved and utilized.

    NMSA as a programmatic intervention made operational from the year 2014-15 aims at making agriculture more productive, sustainable, and remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated/composite farming systems; soil and moisture conservation measures; comprehensive soil health management; efficient water management practices and mainstreaming rainfed technologies.



    1.1   NMSA has the following major components:


    Rainfed Area Development :
    • Integrated Farming System (IFS) is being promoted under RAD in which activities like horticulture, livestock, fishery, agroforestry, value addition are to be taken up along with crops/cropping system.

    • SHM is aimed at promoting location as well as crop specific sustainable soil health management including residue management, organic farming practices by way of creating and linking soil fertility maps with macro-micro nutrient management, appropriate land use based on land type.


    1.2  Implementing Divisions :


    • SHM component is being implemented by INM Division..

    • RAD component is being implemented by RFS Division.


    1.3  Rainfed Area Development(RAD) :


    Rainfed Area Development (RAD) as a component of NMSA is being implemented in the country from 2014-15. The RAD focuses on Integrated Farming System (IFS) for enhancing productivity and minimizing risks associated with climatic variabilities. Under this system, crops/cropping system is integrated with activities like horticulture, livestock, fishery, agro-forestry, apiculture etc. to enable farmers not only in maximizing farm returns for sustaining livelihood, but also to mitigate the impacts of drought, flood or other extreme weather events with the income opportunity from allied activities during crop damage.

    For the Year 2016-17, budget provision of Rs. 225.0 crore has been made for implementation of the programme. The details of allocation, release and utilisation of Central Share reported by States under RAD during last two years and the current year is as under:


    Click here for details of release & utilization of funds under RAD during 2014-15 & 2015-16.

    Click here for details of allocation, release & utilization of funds under RAD during 2016-17.

    Click here for Website of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).



    2   Sub-Mission on Agroforestry(SMAF)


    Sub-Mission on Agroforestry under the framework of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been launched during 2016-17 with an outlay of Rs.935 crore for a period of 4 years (2016-17 to 2019-20). The aim of the Sub-Mission is to expand the tree coverage on farmland in complementary with agricultural crops. Liberal transit regulation rule for transport of timber is a precondition for availing the benefit of the Agro-forestry programme by the States. For the Year 2016-17, budget provision of Rs. 75.0 crore has been made to implement the programme.


    Click here for details allocation & release under SMAF during 2016-17..



    3   National Agro Forestry Policy


    National Agroforestry Policy, 2014 has been formulated with the objective to bring coordination, convergence and synergy between various elements of agroforestry scattered in various existing Missions, programmes and schemes of the Government. The policy will provide a platform to stimulate the growth of agroforestry in India. It will encourage farmers for agroforestry as an integral component of farming system which will lead to meet the ever increasing demand of timber, food, fuel, fodder, fertilizer, fiber, and other agroforestry products; conserving the natural resources and forest; protecting the environment & providing environmental security; and increasing the forest / tree cover.


    A major role for agroforestry is emerging in the domain of environmental services. Agroforestry is known to have the potential to mitigate the climate change effects through microclimate moderation and natural resources conservation in the short run and through carbon sequestration in the long run. Agroforestry species are known to sequester as much carbon in below ground biomass as the primary forests, and far greater than the crop and grass systems.


    Click here for National Agroforestry Policy-2014..



    4   Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana(PMKSY)


    The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was launched on 1st July, 2015 with the motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’ for providing end-to end solutions in irrigation supply chain, viz. water sources, distribution network and farm level applications. PMKSY not only focuses on creating sources for assured irrigation, but also creating protective irrigation by harnessing rain water at micro level through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’. Micro irrigation is to be popularised to ensure ‘Per drop-More crop’. PMKSY adopts State level planning and projectised execution that allows States to draw up their own irrigation development based on District Irrigation Plans and State Irrigation Plans.


    PMKSY has the following components :
    • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme(AIBP): To focus on faster completion of ongoing Major and Medium Irrigation, including National Projects. This component is being implemented by Ministry of Water Resources, RD &GR.

    • PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani): Source augmentation, distribution, ground water development, lift irrigation, diversion of water from water plenty to water scarce.areas, supplementing rain water harvesting beyond IWMP & MGNREGA, repair, restoration, renovation of traditional water bodies. This component is being implemented by Ministry of Water Resources, RD &GR.

    • PMKSY (Watershed): Ridge area treatment, drainage line treatment, soil and moisture conservation, water harvesting structure, livelihood support activities and other watershed works. This component is being implemented by Department of Land Resources.

    • PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop) being implemented by DAC & FW. This component includes two sub-components i.e. Micro irrigation and Other interventions. Per Drop More Crop component supports Micro level storage structures, efficient water conveyance & application, precision irrigation systems, topping up of input cost beyond MGNREGA permissible limits, creation of secondary storage, water lifting devices etc. For the Year 2016-17, budget provision of Rs. 2340.0 crore has been made to implement the Per Drop More Crop component. The details of allocation, release and utilisation of Central Share reported by States under Micro irrigation and Other interventions sub components are as under:


    PMKSY(Per Drop More Crop) - Other Interventions :




    PMKSY(Per Drop More Crop) - Micro Irrigation :



    Since January 2006, the Government of India has been implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Micro Irrigation with the objective to enhance water use efficiency in the agriculture sector. Under the scheme, technological interventions like drip & sprinkler irrigation systems are promoted to encourage the farmers to use them for conservation and saving of water & improved yield.


    In June 2010, the scheme was up-scaled to National Mission on Micro Irrigation (NMMI), which continued till the year 2013-14. From 1st April 2014, NMMI was subsumed under National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and implemented as one of the components under “On Farm Water Management” (OFWM) during 2014-15.


    From 1st April 2015, the scheme has been subsumed under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and implemented as ‘Per Drop More Crop (Micro Irrigation)’ component of PMKSY.


    Salient features of the micro irrigation scheme under PMKSY are as under:


    • 1)  The rate of assistance (subsidy) comprising of both Central Govt. share and State Govt. share ranges from 35 to 60% for small, marginal and other farmers in DPAP/DDP & non-DPAP/DDP areas. The funding pattern between Central Govt. share and State Govt. share since November 2015 has been 60:40 for all states except North Eastern & Himalayan States. For North Eastern & Himalayan States the funding pattern is 90:10.

    • 2)   Under Operational Guidelines of the scheme, indicative/average/ normative cost has been laid down for various crops/lateral spacing and different micro irrigation systems for the purpose of calculating financial assistance. Twenty five (25%) higher cost, over & above the normative cost for all systems has been fixed for North Eastern & Himalayan states for this purpose.

    • 3)   Scheme is applicable in all states and all districts in the country. Support to each farmer is restricted to 5 ha per beneficiary. Assistance on the same land can be availed again only after a period of 10 years.

    • 4)   Location and crop specific technologically appropriate irrigation systems are propagated under the scheme ensuring least cost burden to the farmers..

    • 5)   All horticultural and agricultural crops are covered under the scheme. At least 25% of the funds allocated to the State under scheme are to be used necessarily for agricultural crops..

    • 6)   At least 50% of the allocation to state is to be utilized for small and marginal farmers, of which, at least 30% has to be women beneficiaries/farmers. Further, 16% and 8% of the total allocation or in proportion of Scheduled Cast (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST) population is to be utilized for Special Component Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) respectively..

    • 7)   Equipments adhering to Indian Standards (BIS Standards) are only eligible for financial assistance under the scheme. .

    • 8)   Information & Communication Technology (ICT) has been extensively deployed for ensuring transparency in scheme implementation process and for effective monitoring of the programme. PMKSY website has been operationalized at the Central level. In many states also similar websites have been set up by the respective state governments.

    • 9)   PMKSY has an end to end approach for development of irrigation chain from creation of water resources to field application of water in an integrated manner. Accordingly, all components of PMKSY are to be implemented in complementation with each other.



    Adoption of micro irrigation is providing economic benefits to farmers :


    Micro Irrigation which includes drip and sprinkler irrigation is a proven technology which has gained immense popularity amongst the farmers in India. Strengths of this technology include - efficient deployment of inputs such as water, electricity, fertilizers, labour etc, increase in crop productivity, better quality of produce leading to higher realization of sale price resulting in increased income of farmer and prosperity. With this technology, additional area can be irrigated with the same amount of water compared to conventional method of irrigation. In addition, water deficient, cultivable waste land and undulating land areas can easily be brought under cultivation due to ease of irrigation. With this technology, there is also a good scope for using it in closely spaced crops like rice, wheat, onion, potato etc. Benefits of this technology lead to control of ground and surface water pollution.


    Micro irrigation technology has a good scope for generation of employment opportunities in rural areas besides arresting migration of farmers to cities.


    Since implementation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Micro Irrigation in 2005-06, various studies have been undertaken to assess impact of this technology in various crops across different states and in the economic condition of the farmers adopting this technology. In these studies, the farmers have reported multiple benefits from adoption of micro irrigation technology. These benefits can be classified into two major categories – (i) the benefits that allow the farmer to cope up with adverse agricultural conditions (ii) benefits which bring prosperity to farmers and result in better economics as gross irrigated area increases & multi crop system enhances farmer’s income resulting in financial gains to the farmers. Across these types, the benefits claimed by farmers are - saving in irrigation water due to improved irrigation efficiency resulting in reduced consumption of water, increase in crop yield, reduction in weeds, better growth of plants, reduction in consumption of various inputs like fertilizers, power, labour etc., better soil quality, increase in income of farmer and better returns to the farmers. The irrigated area also increases with adoption of micro irrigation systems besides change/shifting in cropping pattern from traditional crops to horticulture crops which are more remunerating and one can do timely irrigation of whole field in a single schedule.


    The overall benefits accrued from the use of micro irrigation systems are reflected in substantial increase in income of farmers. The benefit cost (BC) ratio of installing micro irrigation systems is greater than “1” across all crops, which signifies importance of micro irrigation in enhancing net income of the farmers. The pay back period of micro irrigation technologies ranges from 1.5 to 2 years.


    The positive outcomes of micro irrigation have made food security effective due to increase in production and productivity of different crops and increased area under irrigation from the same source of water resulting in enhanced nutritional security for the country.


    Crop experiments have shown that use of water soluble fertilizers through drip irrigation (fertigation) can result in reduced consumption of fertilizers resulting in cost savings. Crop-wise details of increase in yields, savings in water & fertilizers at various locations is as under:


    click here for Crop-wise details of increase in yields, savings in water & fertilizers at various locations.


    In nutshell, following benefits have been accrued to farmers with micro irrigation :
    • Saving of irrigation water from 20 to 40%
    • Energy saving from 10 to 17%
    • Saving of labour cost from 30 to 40%
    • Saving of fertilizers from 15 to 50%
    • Increase in crop production and net annual income of farmer


    Area coverage under Micro Irrigation: Click Here For Year-Wise Area Coverage.

    Click here for details of allocation, release & utilization of funds under Micro Irrigation from 2014-15 to 2016-17.

    Click here for website of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY).


    5 .  Agriculture Contingency Plan:


    Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), ICAR has prepared district level Agriculture Contingency Plans in collaboration with state agricultural universities using a standard template to tackle aberrant monsoon situations leading to drought and floods, extreme events (heat waves, cold waves, frost, hailstorms, cyclone) adversely affecting crops, livestock and fisheries (including horticulture). Total 614 district agriculture contingency plans are placed in the ‘farmer portal’ of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India (http://www.farmer.gov.in) and also in the ICAR / CRIDA website (http://www.crida.in) for downloading the full plan by stakeholders for operational use.

    6.  Statistical Data on Rainfed Area:



    7.  Rainfed Area Development Programme (RADP):


    Rainfed Area Development Programme (RADP) was implemented from 2011-12 to 2013-14 as a sub-scheme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) with the aim of improving quality of life of farmers’ especially, small and marginal farmers by offering a complete package of activities to maximize farm returns. The broad objectives of the scheme are:

    • Increasing agricultural productivity of rainfed areas in a sustainable manner by adopting appropriate farming system based approaches.
    • To minimise the adverse impact of possible crop failure due to drought, flood or un-even rainfall distribution through diversified and composite farming system.
    • Restoration of confidence in rainfed agriculture by creating sustained employment opportunities through improved on-farm technologies and cultivation practices
    • Enhancement of farmer’s income and livelihood support for reduction of poverty in rainfed areas and
    • Convergence of relevant developmental programmes in project area for optimal utilisation of resources by establishing an integrated and coordinated system involving different sectors and institutions.
    • The year wise progress made under RADP is.

    • Rs in crore; Area in ha
      Expenditures Incurred Area Covered No. of Farmers Benefitted
      2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
      180.30 159.82 161.12 139675 127413 1204075 195805 205742 182546
      The scheme has been subsumed as Rainfed Area Development component of National Mission for Agriculture from the year 2014-15.

    8.  National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA):


    The scheme of National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) was launched in 1990-91 based on twin concepts of integrated watershed management and sustainable farming systems. The scheme was subsumed under the Scheme for Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA) in the year 2000-2001 and was implemented as a component of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA) in 28 States and 2 UTs. Funds were released to the States based on Approved Annual Work Plan. The Scheme was discontinued due to closer of MMA Scheme w.e.f 1st April, 2013. The objectives of the NWDPRA are:

    • conservation, development and sustainable management of natural resources.
    • enhancement of agricultural production and productivity in a sustainable manner.
    • restoration of ecological balance in the degraded and fragile rainfed eco-systems by greening these areas through appropriate mix of trees, shrubs and grasses.
    • reduction in regional disparity between irrigated and rainfed areas and;
    • creation of sustained employment opportunities for the rural community including the landless.


    Click for The Achievements made under NWDPRA.


    * The balance works of the approved watersheds of the XII Plan Period were taken up during the year 2012-13

  • Attached Offices

  • Circulars

    Guidelines for implementatiion of SCSP and TSP
    National Advisory Committee
    Project Sanctioning Committee
    SAGY(Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana)
    Standing Technical committee
    Inclusion of intervention of Shade Net House under Rainfed Area Development(RAD) Component of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture(NMSA)
  • Presentations

    NMSA - 19 August
    NMSA - 19 August ( 6.82 MB )
    PMKSY-PMO - 30.12.14 Fin
    PMKSY-PMO - 30.12.14 Fin ( 700.28 KB )
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