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Rainfed Farming System

  • Overview

    Rainfed Farming System

    Rainfed agriculture occupies about 51 percent of country’s net sown area and accounts for nearly 40 percent of the total food production. Rainfed agriculture is complex, highly diverse and risk prone. It is characterized by low levels of productivity and input usage coupled with vagaries of monsoon emanating from climate change; resulting in wide variation and instability in crop 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 the irrigated areas which have reached a plateau.

  • Programmes, Schemes & New Initiatives

    National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture(NMSA)

    1.National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)

    NMSA is envisaged as one of the eight Missions outlined under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), NMSA aim at promoting Sustainable Agriculture through climate change adaptation measures. The major thrust is enhancing agriculture productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, soil health management, and synergizing resource conservation. Besides, NMSA also a committed target to fulfil National and International commitments on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) &Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). All the components of NMSA such as Rainfed Agriculture, Soil Health Management, Organic Farming, etc. have significant role in achieving SDGs & INDC.
    NMSA as a programmatic intervention caters to Mission Deliverables that focuses mainly on conservation agriculture to make farm sector more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated/composite farming systems; soil and moisture conservation measures; comprehensive soil health management and mainstreaming rainfed technologies.

    (i) NMSA has the following schemes

    • Rainfed Area Development(RAD) : RAD is being implemented by RFS Division.
    • Sub Mission on Agro Forestry (SMAF): SMAF is being implemented by NRM Division
    • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): PKVY is being implemented by INM Division
    • Soil and Land Use Survey of India (SLUSI): Being implemented by INM Division
    • National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA): Being implemented by RFS Division
    • Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER): Being implemented by INM Division
    • National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF): Being implemented by INM Division
    • Central Fertilizer Quality Control and Training Institute (CFQC&TI): Being implemented by INM Division

    (ii) Rainfed Area Development (RAD) :

    RAD focuses on Integrated Farming System (IFS) for enhancing productivity and minimizing risks associated with climatic variability’s. 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 2019-20 (B.E), budget provision of Rs. 250.0 crore has been made for implementation of the programme. The area covered under Integrated Farming System and allocation, release and utilisation of Central Share reported by States under RAD during last four years and the current year is as under:

    Allocation for 2019-20 (Central share) under RAD

    Details of Central share released and area covered under IFS from 2014-15 to 2018-19

    Website of Rainfed Area Development (RAD)

    Operational Guidelines of Rainfed Area Development(RAD)

    2.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): being implemented by Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR.

    PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani): being implemented by Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR

    PMKSY (Watershed): being implemented by Department of Land Resources.

    PMKSY(Per Drop More Crop - PDMC): Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare is implementing Per Drop More Crop component of PMKSY, which is operational from 2015-16 in the country. Per Drop More Crop mainly focuses on water use efficiency at farm level through precision/ Micro Irrigation (MI) (Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation). Besides promoting precision irrigation and better on-farm water management practices to optimize the use of available water resources, this component also supports gap filling interventions as Other Interventions like micro level water storage or water conservation/management activities to complement and supplement the source creation. Budget for the Year 2019-20, budget provision of Rs. 3500 crores 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:

    Details of release of Central share under Other Interventions from 2015-16 to 2018-19

    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 July 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:

    • Under PDMC, Financial Assistance is available up to 55% for Small & marginal farmers and 45% for other farmers for adoption of Micro Irrigation system. 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.
    • 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 and 15% for low penetration .
    • 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 7 years.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Equipments adhering to Indian Standards (BIS Standards) are only eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    An impact evaluation study for Micro Irrigation was carried out in the year 2014 and major findings of the study are:

    • Irrigation cost reduced by 20% to 50% with the average of 32.3%.
    • Electricity consumption reduced by about 31%.
    • Saving of fertilizers vary from 7% to 42%.
    • Average productivity of fruits and vegetables increased by about 42.3% and 52.8%.
    • Overall income enhancement of farmers in the range of 20% to 68% with average of 48.5%

    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.

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

    Details of release of Central share under Micro Irrigation 2015-16 to 2018-19.

    Allocation for 2019-20 under PMKSY-Per Drop More Crop

    Other Information

    1. Micro Irrigation Fund

    A dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund created with NABARD has been approved with an initial corpus of Rs. 5000 crore (Rs. 2000 crore for 2018-19 & Rs. 3000 crore for 2019-20) for encouraging public and private investments in Micro irrigation. The main objective of the fund is to facilitate the States in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation. MIF would not only facilitate States in incentivizing and mobilizing resources for achieving the target envisaged under PMKSY-PDMC but also in bringing additional coverage through special and innovative initiatives by State Governments.
    An Advisory Committee has been set up to provide policy direction and ensure effective planning, coordination and monitoring of the Micro Irrigation Fund. The composition of the Advisory Committee is as follows:

    (i) Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) Chairman

    (ii) Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Member

    (iii) Secretary, Department of Land Resources Member

    (iv) Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Member

    (v) Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development Member

    (vi) Chairman, NABARD Member

    (vii) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Member

    (viii) Joint Secretary,RFS, DAC&FW Member Secretary
    The Operational Guidelines of MIF has been issued and may be accessed at:

    Micro Irrigation Fund

    2 . 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 ( and also in the ICAR / CRIDA website ( for downloading the full plan by stakeholders for operational use.

  • National Rainfed Area Authority(NRAA)

  • Circulars

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

    PMKSY-PMO - 30.12.14 Fin
    NMSA - 19 August
  • Subordinate Offices

    Soil & Land Use Survey of India
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