Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

October 1998


Published in Drought Network News Vol. 10, No. 3, October 1998. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


Out of a total cropped area of 178 m ha, India has 59 m ha of irrigated cropland. The remaining 119 m ha is rainfed. Crop production under rainfed conditions either occurs during the rainy season or depends on conserved or residual soil moisture. In temperate countries, the economy largely depends on production of goods and services that are less affected by the variabilities of weather. Although India receives adequate amounts of rainfall annually through the four different types of weather phenomena—southwest monsoon (74%), northeast monsoon (3%), pre-monsoon (13%), and post-monsoon (10%)—the distribution in time and space is erratic, resulting in a limitation on the length of crop-growing periods (LGP) or the occurrence of floods.

The temperate environment of Kashmir consists mainly of two crop growing seasons extending from May to October (summer) and November to April (winter). Rice, maize, cowpea, and beans are some of the important summer crops, while rapeseed, berseem, oats, and wheat are grown as winter crops. Under the semiarid conditions of Rajasthan, some drought-resistant crops like pearl millet, cowpea, guar, and foxtail grass are cultivated during the summer monsoon season (June to September), while the ensuing winter season up to February experiences various degrees of moisture stress. Crops grown in this winter season are mostly irrigated. This season is followed by a third one, with hot and dry weather (February to June).

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