Rajasthan's economy based on agriculture
Rajasthan's economy is based on agriculture and animal husbandry. Agriculture accounted for 50% of net state domestic product in 1988/89.
Nearly 69% of those in the work force depend on agriculture and work as cultivators or
agricultural labourers. Crop yields are generally low, and the further growth of agriculture is constrained by a lack of water and access to it,
as nearly 60% of the region is arid. Even outside the arid region, agriculture depends on rainfall, which in most parts of Rajasthan
is minimal and irregular. Only 24% of the cropped area is under irrigation, and only half of the irrigation potential is being used
The state has a lower population density, at 128 persons/km2 (in 1991),
than the country does, with 267 persons/km2. The average size of agricultural holdings, 4.34 ha, is much larger than the national average
of 1.68 ha. A much larger proportion of the cultivators in Rajasthan are owner
operators. Thirty-four percent of the population lives below the poverty line
. Although this is below the national average (39%), it poses a significant development challenge to
Rajasthan, given the low productivity of land and limited availability of water.
The State of Rajasthan is divided into two geographical regions:
The Aravalli hills Range, traversing the state from northwest to southeast, acts as a sharp divide; the region west of Aravali is the extension of the Thar
Desert. IGNP is in this latter region. This mostly arid and partly semiarid region is sparsely populated, but the density of livestock is
very high. The crop yields are low and show sharp year-to-year variation. From the southeast to the northwest in this region, the
agro climatic conditions become progressively harsher. In the part covered by stage II of
IGNP, the aridity is highly pronounced. The landscape is dotted with numerous sand dunes. Many of these shift from place to place with the brisk winds of the desert, leading to desertification of the adjoining
areas. This region is also characterized by extremes of climate, erratic rainfall, and high
rate of evaporation, transpiration and is subject to recurring droughts.
has undertaken several measures for agricultural development, with expansion of irrigation being the most important of these. The Indus Water Treaty
settled the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan about sharing the waters of the Punjab rivers. The waters of three eastern rivers
Ravi, Bias, and Sutlej were allotted to India. From Indias (annual) share of water, Rajasthan got 8.60 million acre
8211;feet (MAF; 1 acre 8211;foot = 1.33 ha 8211;m). The Government of Rajasthan decided to use 7.59 MAF in the construction of the
Indira Gandhi canel The remaining water in Rajasthan
8217;s share is used for the Bhakra and other irrigation systems. Of the total water supplies in
IGNP, 6.72 MAF is earmarked for irrigation 0.87 MAF, for drinking water and industrial use in the command and adjoining areas.
In 1956, the end of the First Five-Year Plan, only 12.7% of the gross cropped area in the state was irrigated. By 1990, the end of the Seventh Five-Year Plan, the proportion had increased to 24.9%
(GOR 1992), mainly as a result of IGNP. At the same time, Rajasthan adopted a high-yielding-varieties program as part of its agricultural strategy.