Dryland agriculture in India is practiced on 97 million ha of the cultivated area that supports 40% of the human population and 60% of livestock population by producing 44% of the food and fodder requirements. Even if India can achieve the full potential of irrigation in 139.5 million ha, still 75 million ha drylands would continue to depend on rainfall from southwest (SW) and northeast (NE) monsoons, characterized by high rainfall variability that cause most of production uncertainties. Thus dryland agriculture continues to play a crucial role in India's food security. However, productivity gains have been relatively insignificant and risk-averse dryland farmers have to improve agricultural productivity with suitable management options and matching application of farm inputs to maximize crop productivity and income, while minimizing crop failure and input losses against uncertainties of seasonal weather to feed the booming population.
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