Use of Agroclimatic Datasets for Improved Planning of Watersheds uri icon

abstract

  • Maximizing agricultural production from rain-fed areas in a sustainablemanner is the need of the day to feed the ever-increasing population.Integrated watershed management with focus on productivityenhancement and livelihood improvement is one of the high priorityareas identified and promoted for producing both tangible and non-tangible benefits to the individuals as well as for communities as awhole. Reliable and long-term data on agroclimate, soils, crop varietiesand crop production at taluk/block/district-level for several years areneeded for undertaking climatic analyses and to understand variationsin agricultural productivity and changes in the cropping patterns. Dataon crop phenology, growth and yield characters are needed to quantifycrop-weather relationships and for validating crop-growth simulationmodels. Agroclimatic datasets need to be developed at individualwatershed level and climatic analyses help in assessing rainwaterharvesting potential, efficient land use planning, determining suitabilityof crops, risk analysis of climatic hazards, adoption of farming methodsand choice of farm machinery. In this paper, results of climatic analysisof selected watersheds in India with respect to water balance andlength of rain-fed crop-growing period, yield gap analysis of someimportant crops are presented and discussed. Use of agroclimaticdatasets goes much beyond agroclimatic analysis of watersheds.Current issues like end-of-the-season crop yield forecasting, climaticchange impact assessment, crop insurance to farming community,maintaining quality of produce to compete with international market,sustainability of the yield and environment are also to be addressed.Enhancing climate awareness among the rural stakeholders usingnew IT tools is the need of the hour

publication date

  • 2011