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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.10

Potential of Rainwater Harvesting for Raising Agricultural Productivity of Rain-fed Areas

S.N.Panda, B. Panigrahi, R. Mull
Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur 721302


More than 70 per cent of India' s gross cultivated land is under rain-fed agriculture and the agricultural production of these zones is very low compared to irrigated agriculture. Even though more than 1000 mm of rainfall occurs in the rainy season, the erratic distribution of rainfall along with frequent occurrence of dry spells causes severe reduction in yield. Vast areas remain fallow during rabi season due to a lack of irrigation facilities. At times, high frequency of rainfall of longer duration causes floods at lower end of cultivated areas leading to severe soil erosion and prolonged inundation of crops consequently affecting yield. Considering all these aspects there is a dare necessity of effective rainwater management in rain-fed areas. Rainwater management, crop planning and judicious allocation of stored rainwater are the most effective means for sustainable agriculture in rain-fed areas. In this paper rainwater management by way of harvesting it in an on-farm reservoir (OFR) and optimal use of stored water by its recycling to the cropped fields are discussed. The stored water is used optimally as supplemental irrigation (SI) to crops especially during critical growth stages (CGS).

PDF of full document (5pp, 95kb)

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