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Drought Management and the Development of Agricultural Infrastructure

by Akhilesh K Prasad Agriculture accounts for 14% of India’s GDP and about 11% of our exports. India has the second-largest arable land base at 159.7 million hectares after the US, and the largest gross irrigated area at 88 million hectares. In fact, 60% of the country’s population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture for their principal income and land continues to be the main asset for livelihood. The bane of the agriculture sector is that 42% of India’s land is facing drought. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and parts of the North-East have been worst hit. Almost 40% of the country’s population reside in these states. While the center has not declared drought anywhere so far, the state government...

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