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Prioritization of Rainfed Areas in India at district level

 

 

Realizing the importance of prioritization of rainfed areas, an integrated methodology involving NRI and ILI was developed jointly by CRIDA and IASRI to identify high priority districts.  “Natural Resource Index” (NRI) comprises of nine variables, viz., rainfall, frequency of drought, available water content, extent and per cent of degraded lands and wastelands, irrigation intensity, extent and per cent of rainfed areas and ground water status.  “Integrated Livelihoods Index” (ILI) is a composite of three sub-indices, viz., socio-economic index, health and sanitation index and infrastructure index. Both NRI and ILI were constructed as a weighted sum of the relevant variables with weights generated from principal component analysis (PCA).  Rainfed Areas Prioritization Index (RAPI) was derived by assigning two-thirds weight to NRI priority index and one-third weight to ILI based on expert opinion.  Accordingly, the top one-third districts (167) based on RAPI score are considered as high priority districts for taking up crop and livestock-based interventions. All the districts covered under Census 2001 have been considered for prioritization. Based on data set available, 499 districts were included in the study.


 In majority of prioritized districts, natural resources status and livelihoods status were inversely related.  In eastern India, NRI was medium to high but ILI was low indicating scope for improving the livelihoods through better access and utilization of natural resources. Based on RAPI, most of the districts having high priority fall in western India and southern peninsula. Therefore, yield and livelihood gap was examined which was not considered in the RAPI.  In order to bridge the gap through investment for harnessing natural resources, of the top one-third (167), 50 districts have been identified. The districts identified are mostly in eastern India and deserve developmental focus on priority.

 

 
  Map of India with Rainfed Areas Prioritization Index (RAPI) values

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