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 Rajasthan

AGRO-CLIMATIC ZONES

The climatic conditions of a region affect the agricultural cropping pattern and different areas, thus, produce different crops.  Amongst a host of climatic factors, rainfall, temperature, humidity, wind velocity and duration of sunshine etc. affect the cropping pattern in a significant way.  Annual rainfall and its distribution over the entire year, and the regimes of diurnal and annual temperatures are, , by far, the prominent factors affecting agriculture and the life style of the people.

On the basis of climatic conditions and agricultural produce, Rajasthan has been divided into nine agro-climatic zones, each one having special characteristics of its own.

Arid Western Plain

This region comprises of all tehsils of Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Barmer districts, Phalodi, Shergarh, Osian and Jodhpur tchsils of Jodhpur district and Dungargarh, Sujangarh, Ratangarh and Sardarshahar tehsils of Churu district.  This is the most arid part of the state where the annual rainfall varies from 10 to 40 cm, quite often erratic, so much so, that the entire rainfall of the year may fall on a single day and the rest of the year may be dry.

Summer temperatures are always high and the diurnal range exceeds even 20o C. During the day, the summer temperatures may be as high as 49 o C but in the night, the temperatures may fall, to less than 20o C. In winters, the day temperatures are higher but the night temperatures may be near freezing point.  Winters are of short duration, not exceeding two months - December and January.

This is an area of not-so-developed drainage system where there are no flowing streams.  Owing to poor rainfall, surface water resources do not exist while ground water resources are often deep and brackish.  Natural vegetation is therefore, only seasonal.  With the, first showers in late July, a few grass species grow and shrubs and dwarf trees become green.  But, soon after the retreat of the monsoon in mid September, the vegetation dries up, leaving only a few perennial shrubs and a thin pad of pale grass on the landscape.

Mostly rainfed crops like bajra, kharif pulses, guar etc. are own during the kharif season.  Rabi crops like wheat, rape-seed and mustard are grown only in areas where irrigation water is available.

Irrigated North-Western Plains

The entire Ganganagar district, which is an alluvial and aeolian plain, formed by the river Ghaggar (the ancient river saraswati) forms this agro-climatic zone.  The Ghaggar channel,even though 7 kms. wide at some places, inundates nearby villages, during heavy rainfall in its catchment areas.

A part of this region, which is arid, is the northern extension of the Indian Thar Desert covered with wind-blown sand.  Extreme aridity, marked with high summer and low winter temperatures, is its usual climatic characteristic.  The average annual rainfall is about, 40 cm.  High speed winds blow in summer.  The area is rich in agricultural produce on account of a well-developed system of canal irrigation.  Today, a large network of Gang Canal and Bhakhra Canal which along with the Indira Gandhi Canal, has made the entire area green and productive.

Due to abundance of canal water irrigation, this region has today become the greenary of Rajasthan.  Amongst the kharif crops cotton, sugarcane and pulses are of importance.  In the rabi season, wheat, mustard, gram, vegetables and fruits are produced.  The total Production as well as productivity levels of all crops are relatively much higher in this zone as compared to other parts of the state.

Transitional Plain Of Inland Drainage

This zone comprises all tchsils of Nagaur, Sikar and Jhunjhunun districts and Taranagar, Churu and Rajgarh tehsils of Churu district.  The area is covered with sand dunes and inter- dunal sandy plains.  Drainage is not well developed and streams, which flow in the rainy season, disappear in sandy fields after covering some distance.  Climatically, this zone is slightly better as compared to the adjoining zone of the Arid Western Plain.  Rainfall is slightly higher, temperatures in summer months do go very high but the winters are very cold.  Irrigation is restricted to areas with good ground-water potential.

Bajra, sesamum and kharif pulses are the main crops of the rainy season.  Wheat, barley, mustard and gram are grown as irrigated crops or on conserved soil moisture during Rabi.

Transitional Plain of Luni Basin

This area lies beween the Aravalli ranges and western arid region.  The region encompasses the entire disricts of Jalor and Pali, Reodhar and Sheoganj tchsils of Sirohi district, and Bilara and Bhopaigarh tehsils of Jodhpur district.  The region has semi-arid climate with an annual rainfall of 30 to 50 cms.  It is drained by the river Luni which is seasonal and flows only during rainy season.  A number of paleo-channels also exist in this area.  The western part of the region is dotted with sand dunes, interspersed in alluvial soil.  Luni and its several tributaries, like Sukri, Mithri and Jawai have made this area productive.  The climatic conditions are almost the same as in the western arid region except that the rainfall is slightly higher.  The ground-water level is high in the river basins, and has been usefully tapped for irrigation.  Vegetation is xerophytic and sparse in the western part but in the east and on the slopes of the Aravalli ranges, there is mesophytic vegetation in the form of woodlands, open forests and grasslands.

The area produces bajra, maize, guar, sesamum and pulses in the kharif season.  In the rabi season, wheat, barley and mustard are the dominant crops, specially in irrigated areas.

Semi-arid Eastern Plain

This region comprises four districts namely, Jaipur, Dausa, Tonk and Ajmer.  Banas, with its several tributaries, forms a rich fertile plain.  On the western side, the region is flanked by the low Aravalli hills which extend from the south-West to the north- east.

The annual rainfall of the region varies from 50 to 60 cms. with an increasing trend towards the cast.  Summer and winter temperatures are not as extreme as in the arid west but the summer temperature may reach around 45o C and in the winter, minimum may be 8o C. The water table varies from 15 to 25 meters but the annual fluctuations are high, specially in the years when the south-west monsoon fails and the yearly replenishments are low.  Surface water sources are scarce and so harnessing of ground water resources has been going on at an accelerated pace.  Natural vegetation is of the mixed xerophytic and mesophytic type, but owing to heavy felling of trees, the surface mantle has been robbed of its natural wealth.  In the total gross cultivated area of this zone, bajra, sorghum and pulses are grown in the kharif season, and wheat, barley, gram, mustard in the rabi season.  Productivity of all crops in this zone is better than that of the agro-climatic zones that are to the west of the Aravalli range.

Flood Prone Eastern Plains

This region comprises the districts of Alwar, Bharatpur and Dhaulpur and the northern part of Sawai Madhopur (Mahuwa, Todabhim, Hindon, Nadauti, Bamanwas, Gangapur, Karauli, Sapotra and Bonli tchsils).  Except for few low hills which exist in Alwar and Sawai Madhopur districts, the entire region is a flood plain of the Banganga and the river Ghambhiri.  The region has rich alluvial soils the fertility of which is replenished every year by the flood water of the rivers.  In periods of heavy rainfall, the rivers outflow their banks and innundate the surrounding villages.

Climatically, the area is similar to the plains of Banas, but the rainfall is relatively higher in the east, the annual average being about 75 cms. Natural vegetation exists on mountain slopes, wetland areas, and protected zones but the excessive plundering of forest wealth has dwindled the natural cover.  The region produces a variety of crops because both surface water and ground water irrigation sources exist.  A network of canals drawn from the upper Yamuna Canal and the Panchana Dam irrigate this area.  The ground water aquifers vary from 5 to 15 meters and therefore, well water irrigation is also practiced.  The region produces bajra, sorghum, maize, sugarcane, sesamum and a variety of pulses in the kharif season.  Wheat, barley, gram and mustard are the dominant crops during rabi season.

Sub-humid Southern Plains & The Aravalli Hills

Bhilwara district, all tehsils of Udaipur district, except Dharyiawad, Salumber and Sarada, all tehsils of Chittaurgarh district, except Chotti Sadri, Pratapgath, Arnod and Bari Sadri and Abu Road and Pindwara tebsils of Sirohi district form this agro-climatic zone.  For the most part, this is a region of low Aravalli hills with the inter-mountain plateau, deeply dissected by streams and rivers.  The region has a moderately warm climate in summers and with mild winters.  The annual rainfall varies from 50 to 95 cms.  The highest precipitation in the state is recorded in Abu hills (Sirohi district).  There are number of surface water streams like Ghambiri, Sabarmati, Banas and its tributaries but they are all ephemeral.  The surface rocks are granitic and highly metamorphosed and so the depressions on the surface are filled with rain water in the form of natural tanks.

The area is rich in natural vegetation, which grows on the slopes of the Aravallis, and in the wetland areas but excessive felling of trees has degraded these open forests.  Tank water irrigation is most common.  The area produces maize as the chief food crop of the Kharif season but in irrigated areas, paddy is also grown.  In the Rabi season, wheat, gram and oil seeds are the main crops.  In areas of black soil, cotton and opium are also cultivated.

Humid Southern Plains

The districts of Dungarpur and Banswara, parts of Udaipur (Dhariyawad, Salumber and Sarada tehsils) and Chittorgarh (Chotti sadri, Bari Sadri, Pratapgarh and Arnod tehsils) are included in this region.  The area comprises of low Aravalli hills with intrusions of black lava rocks.  This is mostly a tribal area where Bhils, Garasiyas and Damors live amidst forests and hills.  The area has humid climate with an average rainfall of more than 70 cm per year.  The temperature regimes do not fluctuate much in summer and winter so the area has mild winters and mild summers.   The humidity is always high and all these factors, combined together, promote a profuse growth of natural vegetation.  The mountain slopes have an abundance of natural forests.

There are a number of surface water streams.  Mahi and its tributaries like Anas, Arau and Jhakham have made this area very fertile.  The commissioning of Mahi Bajaj Sagar multipurpose project has provided this area with canal water irrigation and electric resources.  Cotton and sugarcane are the chief cash crops grown in the black soil region.  Maize, sorghum and paddy are the chief food crops of the Kharif season.  Groundnut, mustard, sesamum and rapeseed are also grown.

Humid South-Eastern Plains

Popularly known as the Hadauti plateau, this region includes the districts of Kota, Baran, Bundi and Jhalawar and two tehsils of Sawai Madhopur namely Khandar and Sawai Madhopur.  The black soil region of this plateau is fertile and is used for cultivation of sugarcane, cotton and opium.  The region has low hills of the Gwalior series, interspersed with broad plateaus of Vindhyan rocks.  A large number of rivers drain this area.  The Chambal is the main river along with its main tributaries like Parvati, Kali sindh, Parwan and Banas.  The development of canal irrigation system with a series of dams and barrages on the Chambal, has made this area rich in agricultural production.  Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar and Jawhar Sagar dams together with Kota Barrage have generated enough resources of electricity and canal water for irrigation.

The region has warm summers but mild winters.  Summer temperatures sometimes touch 45 o C. The relative humidity is generally high in this zone.  The annual rainfall varies from 60 to 85 cm.

Natural vegetation exists in the form of woodlands, parklands and open forests, which have, however, now degraded.  Paddy and sorghum are the chief food crops grown in the Kharif season.  This area is suitable for soyabeen crop also.  Wheat, barley, grain and mustard are grown in winter.


 

 
Nodal Officer : Er Inderjeet Bishnoi, Email : dditjpr.wr@rajasthan.gov.in, Phone No. : 0141-2702672 Ext. 229