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We consider studying the potential of climate applications in Kurnool and Anantapur in the scarce rainfall of zone of Andhra Pradesh state in the southern peninsular India (Fig. 17.1) as farmers in these districts are mostly dependant on dryland agricultural incomes for their livelihoods and are often affected by crop losses and low incomes due to climate variability.

Kurnool district receives an annual rainfall of -640 mm, ranging from 548 to 668 mm among different agro ecological situations, with a high coefficient of variation indicative of a high climate variability leading to uncertainties in crop production. Total rainfall in the crop season is received during two monsoon seasons (bi-model distribution): southwest (SW) monsoon during June-July-August-September (JJAS) and northeast (NE) monsoon during October-November-December (OND). Early season droughts during SW monsoon often result in first crop failure in this region. Year-to-year rainfall variability (Fig. 17.2, top panel), at the onset of southwest monsoon results in fluctuation in area sown and production of kharif sorghum and mungari cotton (Gossypium hirsutum sp.). Rainfall anomalies during NE monsoon (OND) pe-

Fig. 17.1. Study area and location of project villages in Kurnool and Anantapur districts of Andhra Pradesh, India

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riod (Fig. 17.2, middle panel) influence area and production of chickpea and post-rainy sorghum, causing uncertainties of farm-income to resource-poor farmers. Soils in the Kurnool district are largely Vertisols or Vertic inceptisols with varying soil depth ranging from 90 to 150 cm with high clay or clay loamy calcareous soils. These soils can hold plant available soil water (PASW) ranging from 150-240 mm and possess high moisture retention capacities to support post rainy season drought tolerant crops like sorghum, sunflower, chickpea, and safflower are generally grown on stored soil moisture.

Normal rainfall for Anantapur district is low at 564 mm, with rainfall variability ranges from 493 to 593 mm among different agro-ecological situations. Anantapur normally receives 60% of rainfall from SW monsoon (JJAS), 27% NE monsoon (OND) (a bi-model distribution), and seasonal anomalies especially in SW monsoon (Fig. 17.3, middle panel) influence the productivity of main crop peanut. Length of crop growing season is generally limited between 100 and 135 days by low rainfall and shallow Alfisols. Hence Anantapur typically represents the problems of dry land farming systems in the semi-arid to arid regions. Therefore, it was decided to determine the value of forecast skill for the region to convince stakeholders to utilize seasonal forecasts for crop management decisions.

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