Nearly 50% of country's agricultural land in rainfed areas
New Delhi: Nearly half of the net sown land in India falls in unirrigated areas with a majority in important agricultural states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka, shows government data.
About 76.77 million hectares of net sown area is cultivated under rainfed (unirrigated) conditions out of around 162 million hectares of such land at present in the country.
Maharashtra tops the state-wise chart with largest amount of unirrigated land under agriculture at 14.1 million hectares. It is followed by Rajasthan with 11.1 million hectares, Karnataka (7.01 million hectares), Gujarat (5.9 million hectares) and Andhra Pradesh (5.7 million hectares), data showed.
Punjab and Haryana, the cradle of Green Revolution of 70s, have vast majority of areas under irrigation, according to statistics available.
Around 97.6 percent of the areas is covered by irrigation in Punjab under different crops. In neighbouring Haryana, 85.3 percent of area under principal crops are in irrigated areas.
Bihar is also moving fast as it has provided irrigation facilities in 61 percent of area under agriculture in the state. Tamil Nadu (58.3 percent) and West Bengal (56.2 percent) are other states where substantial portion of agriculture land is covered under irrigation.
Considering the fact that a vast tract of land is rainfed, the government is running different schemes like National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA), Soil Conservation in the Catchments of River Valley project and Flood Prone River (RVP&FPR) and Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP).