Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

February 1999


Published in Drought Network News Vol. 11, No. 1, February 1999. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


We have written a number of articles on various aspects of weather characterization and forecast verification under temperate environments of Jammu and Kashmir (India). We have also touched on some of the approaches that might help in solving climatically triggered problems (Hasan and Kanth 1997). Fortunately, we were lucky enough to make significant progress in some (if not all) of the approaches. The present article focuses on an analysis of rainfall/ precipitation in this state of the Indian Union under different agroclimatic zones, with an update on forecast verification analysis of temperate Kashmir (India) during 1997–98.

India is classified into agroclimatic zones or major agro-ecological regions (Figures 1 and 2). By definition, an agroclimatic zone is a land unit, in terms of major climate and growing period, that is climatically suitable for a certain range of crops and cultivars (FAO, 1983). An ecological region is characterized by distinct ecological responses to macroclimate as expressed in vegetation and reflected in soils, fauna, and aquatic systems. Several attempts have been made to classify our land area into climatic regions or zones, and these are well documented (Sehgal et al., 1992). The important point is the degree of recognition that has been given to these various approaches and their use in promoting the objectives of effective agriculture, macrolevel land use planning, and effective transfer of agrotechnology. Two approaches seem to meet these objectives—the National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) approach (Figure 1) and the recent Agro-Ecological Region approach (Figure 2). In the NARP approach, state universities were advised to divide each zone/state into subzones; accordingly, 129 subzones were delineated for India, based primarily on rainfall, existing cropping patterns, and administrative units. The Jammu and Kashmir state was thus divided into 4 zones (Figure 1). In the agro-ecological region-based approach, recognition was given to the climatic conditions, length of growing period, land form, and soils (Sehgal et al., 1992) (Figure 2). Thus India has been divided into 20 agro-ecoregions. The Jammu and Kashmir state comprises 3 regions, as depicted in Figure 2. The crop distribution in the state is shown in Figure 3.

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