Drought Prone Area Programme in India
The drought-prone area initiative, which spans 615 blocks over ninety districts in the country’s western, central, and southern regions, is an integrated agricultural development program. It was one of the first area development programs implemented by the Central government in 1973-1974 to address the difficulties of the country’s drought-stricken areas.
Agriculture in India has long been reliant on monsoonal rains. Drought and floods are two characteristics of the Indian climate. Drought affects 19 percent of the whole geographical area and 12 percent of the total population each year, according to estimates. Drought affects over 30% of the country’s total land each year. Floods in one season and drought in the next are fairly prevalent. This is mostly due to large-scale variability and unpredictability in monsoon behavior.
What are the aims of drought prone area Programme?
(1) To use agricultural land, water, and cattle resources wisely and scientifically.
(2) To increase and stabilize the income of those living in drought-prone areas, especially the poorer members of society.
(3) The re-establishment of ecological equilibrium.
Objectives of Drought Prone Areas
(a) Integrated watershed management and water resource management.
b) Measures to save soil and moisture.
b) Afforestation, with a focus on social and agricultural forestry.
(d) Development of grazing lands and forest range management in tandem with sheep husbandry development.
g) Development of livestock and dairy products.
f) Cropping patterns are being restructured, as are agronomic practices.
(g) Implementation of scientific crop rotation, with a focus on leguminous (pulse) crops.
h) Subsidiary vocations’ development
(I) Water collection.
(j) Irrigation project development on a small scale.
(k) Underground canals and lined canals are being built.
l) Seawater desalination for irrigation and home usage.
m) Agriculture diversification
n) Cottage and domestic industries development.
o) Research and development of alternative energy sources (solar, wind, and biogas) for home and industrial use.
(p) In order to boost agricultural output in dry farming zones, further study is needed.
The Drought Prone Area Program’s Current Status (DPAP)
- In 1977-78, the hot parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh were replaced by the cold deserts of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
- Under the auspices of the National Wasteland Development Board, the Integrated Watershed Development program was initiated in 1989 for the development of wastelands on a watershed basis.
- In the year 1995, watershed development guidelines were drafted and implemented on April 1, 1995.
- The watershed development guidelines were dubbed ‘Haryali Guidelines’ in 2001 and 2003.
- Since April 1, 2008, the Common Guidelines for Watershed Development Program have been in place.
- Three watershed programs (DPAP, DDP, and IWDP) were merged in 2009 under the Ministry of Rural Development’s ‘Integrated Watershed Management Programme.’
- If all of these efforts are performed simultaneously, they can help to alleviate the suffering of those living in drought-prone areas of the country.
- The Indira Gandhi Canal Project, the Sardar Sarovar Project (Narmada), and the Central Arid Research Institute, Jodhpur are just a few of the Drought Prone Area Programme’s notable accomplishments in promoting drought-resistant plants, trees, and crops.
India’s Drought Management:
- In terms of drought monitoring and management, the Union Ministry of Agriculture is the nodal ministry.
- The gathering of rainfall and run-off from huge catchment areas and directing them for human consumption using conventional methods or artificial groundwater recharge. It uses integrated groundwater recharge techniques to help rejuvenate exhausted high-capacity aquifers.
- A large network of observations monitors the rainfall condition in the country on a regular basis at various spatial and temporal dimensions.
- Since 1992, the Department of Earth System Science Organisation-Indian Meteorological Department (ESSO-IMD) has been monitoring the rainfall status at various spatial scales throughout the year.
- ESSO-IMD has been using the Standardized Precipitation Index to track drought in India’s districts on a monthly basis since 2013.