Neeranchal watershed program
Rain-fed agriculture accounts for 68% of India’s cropped area, providing livelihoods to 480 million people. Of the 127 agro-climatic zones in India, 73 are rain-fed areas, characterized by constraints in water availability, higher poverty ratios, lower population density, and difficult access to markets, employment and services. These regions are more susceptible to drought, land degradation and environmental stress. Although the contribution of agriculture to GDP has been reducing over the years and now stands at 16%, the proportion of people depending on agriculture for their livelihoods is very high, at approximately 70% of the population. Agricultural productivity advancement in irrigated areas has reached a plateau and more than on third of the additional requirement of food grains (estimated at 102 million tons) has to come from rain-fed lands. The effects of climate variability are felt more acutely in rain fed areas, threatening livelihoods.