• The spread in the regions where the average annual rainfall is less than 75 cm.
  • rainfall is scanty and uncertain, where hot and dry conditions prevail.
  • It is not only that the average annual rainfall is low, the variability of rainfall in these areas varies between 25 to 60 per cent.
  • Agriculture belongs to fragile, high risking and low productive agricultural ecosystem.
  • The areas in which more than 75 cm of average annual rainfall is recorded are known as the areas of rain-fed agriculture.
  • In India dry-lands cover about 32 million hectares or about 25 per cent of the total arable land.
  • The dry farming areas cover the greater parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Moreover, there are small tracts of dry land farming in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, harkhand, Orissa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
  • These areas having scanty rainfall and high variability of rainfall are adversely affected by erratic precipitation, frequent droughts, high temperature, and high wind velocity resulting in soil erosion.


Significant Features of Dry Farming

  • Moisture conservation is basic to dry farming. In order to achieve this objective, the field is ploughed repeatedly, especially during the rainy season.
  • Sowing of crops in alternate years or fallowing of land after each harvesting of crop. The fallowing of agricultural land helps in the recuperation of soil fertility.
  • Pulverisation of the soil before sowing.
  • Regular hoeing and weeding of the crop. Hoeing is generally done before sun-rise so that the night dew may be mixed into the soil to provide moisture to the crops.
  • Covering of the land with straw to prevent evaporation of the soil moisture and to control soil erosion.
  • Livestock keeping and dairying are also important allied agricultural activities in the dry farming regions.


  • The main crops grown in the dry farming areas are coarse, grains (maize, millets, bajra), pulses, groundnut, oilseeds and fodder.
  • Though 75 per cent of the total population of dry-farming regions are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, their per capita income, and standard of living are significantly low.


Main Problems of Dry Farming

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