A significant increase in food grain production in recent times made India a potential exporting country besides maintaining a buffer stock of 60 million tonnes. It was achieved through green revaluation. The major driving forces in achieving this was; introduction of high yielding production technologies like, high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilizers and intensive irrigation, improved pest and disease management, input subsidization and incentives to farmers through remunerative pricing policies for some crops, public investment in agricultural research and education, and institutional reforms. These reform measures have paid back significantly to increase the agricultural production in the country and resulted in 45% increase in per capita food availability.
Dryland/rainfed farming is the practice of cultivating land, which derives water only through rains. Hence, an understanding of rainfall patterns and land characteristics is crucial for optimizing the use of available water for dryland crops. The productivity of dryland crops is still very low because of low and erratic rainfall and poor adoption of improved technologies. To bridge yield gap, the crop diversification is required for increasing the productivity and profitability per unit area. Intercropping is also an efficient strategy that can be followed with suitable options in the present climatic scenario. Apart from rainfall, two other important elements include, moisture availability to crops and availability of suitable production technologies. Priority needs to be given on conservation of soil moisture and crop management practices. The productivity of dryland crops is very low because of low and erratic rainfall and poor adoption of improved technologies. To bridge this gap, the crop diversification is required for increasing the productivity and profitability per unit area and per unit time. Intercropping is also an efficient strategy that can be followed to get desirable outcomes.
Millets are one of the most important dryland crops which are being cultivated in larger parts of this country from ancient times. These crops were cultivated in wide ranges of climatic conditions and marginal conditions of soil and moisture. The dryland/rainfed agriculture is meant by scientific management of soil and crops under dry lands without irrigation. Areas which receive an annual rainfall of 750 mm or less, and there is no irrigation facility for raising crops are categorized as drylands. Millets are the most viable option in the dryland conditions as they require minimum water and can withstand in adverse weather conditions.
Original Link: https://millets.res.in/