Land - Irrigation
Of the total 308 lakh hectares land in Maharashtra, two-thirds, i.e. approximately 225.6 lakh hectares of land is under cultivation.
The Proportion of total land usage in Maharashtra:
||Areas (In Hectares)
|Net area sown
|Other uncultivated land
|Land not available for cultivation
Distribution of land usage in Maharashtra (in percentages) (2005 – 2006)
In Maharashtra, on the basis of climate, the type of rocks and the proportion of rainfall, the type of soil can be classified in the following ways:
- The alluvial soil on Konkan coastline (Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg).
- Red alluvial soil (Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Wardha and some parts of Thane and Raigad).
- Jambhi soil (Satara, Kolhapur, and some parts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg).
- Alluvial soil (from the basins of the rivers, Bhima, Krishna, Panchganga and Tapi).
- Black Regur soil (3/4th of total area).
- Clay Soil (north-east Maharashtra, Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur).
Almost 80 to 85% of farming in Maharashtra is dependent on the whims of the seasonal rains.
The main sources of water in Maharashtra include canals, lakes, reservoirs, seepage lakes – wells, pump irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation and tube-wells. Maharashtra is a State leading in drip irrigation, 60% of India’s drip irrigation system is found in Maharashtra alone. The area covered under irrigation in 2006-07 was 39.57 lakh hectares. A total of 17.5% of land under cultivation is irrigated. .
Considering the sizeable agricultural area, the dependence of people on farming and the importance of agro-based industries in Maharashtra, a plan has already been executed for having several small-scale as well as large-scale irrigation projects, mainly, on the rivers Krishna, Bhima, Godavari, Tapi, Wardha, Wainganga. It is necessary to bring more and more land under irrigation by planning an optimum use of the water resource. While doing so, it is equally important to preserve the natural, physical balance. .
After taking into consideration the factors like availability of water, extent of cultivable land, natural increase in the level of underground water, as well as the increase in this level resulting from development of backwater areas, use of modern irrigation techniques and improvement in farm-watering techniques, the Maharashtra Irrigation Commission (1999) has predicted the potential possible increase in irrigation in the State to be a maximum of 126 lakh hectares. .
Agro and sub agro climatic zone
The state has been divided into 9 agro-climatic zones based on rainfall, soil type and the vegetation as mentioned below,
- South Konkan coastal zone
- North Konkan coastal zone
- Western Ghat zone
- Transition zone - 1
- Transition zone - 2
- Scarcity zone
- Assured rainfall zone
- Moderate rainfall zone
- Eastern Vidarbha zone