1. Agriculture World

NRAA Proposes Policies to Boost Growth of Rainfed Agriculture

Rainfed agriculture accounts for roughly 40% of total foodgrain production. Rainfed agriculture produces approximately 85% of nutri-cereals, 83% of pulses, 70% of oilseeds, and 65% of cotton. Rain-fed agriculture feeds two-thirds of livestock and 40% of the human population.

Shivam Dwivedi
In addition, the proposed policy calls for measures to improve farmers' investment ability and financial security by increasing institutional credit availability and introducing comprehensive insurance and weather-based instruments for rainfed farmers.
In addition, the proposed policy calls for measures to improve farmers' investment ability and financial security by increasing institutional credit availability and introducing comprehensive insurance and weather-based instruments for rainfed farmers.

A draft policy proposes several measures to accelerate the growth of rainfed agriculture in the country, including reviving millet-based cropping systems, releasing new climate-resilient varieties, improving water use efficiency, and encouraging allied agri-activities.

Ministry of Agriculture's National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) has proposed a new policy to accelerate the growth of rainfed agriculture by taking a comprehensive approach to combat climate change, securing livelihoods, and improving nutrition. The proposed policy is expected to design programs specifically for rainfed agriculture, which accounts for 55% of the net sown area of 139.42 million hectares and employs approximately 61% of the country's farmers.

Rainfed agriculture accounts for roughly 40% of total foodgrain production. Rainfed agriculture produces approximately 85% of Nutri-cereals, 83% of pulses, 70% of oilseeds, and 65% of cotton. Rain-fed agriculture feeds two-thirds of livestock and 40% of the human population.

Among the other measures proposed in the policy are improving cropping systems and practices in rainfed agriculture, promoting integrated farming systems and integrated livelihood systems, improving farm power and mechanizations, and promoting efficient natural resource management in rainfed agriculture, as well as measures to reduce soil degradation and restore/rehabilitate degraded soils.

In addition, the proposed policy calls for measures to improve farmers' investment ability and financial security by increasing institutional credit availability and introducing comprehensive insurance and weather-based instruments for rainfed farmers.

It also suggests encouraging allied agri-activities in addition to establishing a bio-economy in rainfed regions through secondary agriculture activity promotion. It also emphasizes the importance of improving infrastructure and organizations that help farmers capture value, encourage private sector investment in rainfed regions, and promote sustainable practices.

In addition, the policy calls for improving knowledge transfer in rainfed regions, strengthening extension services, leveraging information and communication technology, creating data monitoring, management, and analytics infrastructure for effective decision making, and creating an institutional framework for accelerating rain-fed agriculture growth.

Because comprehensive development of rainfed areas is not limited to agriculture and allied sectors, the policy emphasizes the importance of closely related interventions and programs from other sectors such as Water Resources, Rural Development, Panchayat Raj, Tribal Welfare, Environment and Forests, Science and Technology, Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Energy and Power, Skill Development, and NITI Aayog, among others.

Furthermore, the policy has proposed the formation of a national-level committee comprised of officials from various ministries and agencies such as NRAA, NABARD, NCDC, and SFAC, among others, to ensure proper coordination and a cohesive development approach.

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