The present day agriculture has already become technology propelled with lot of farm scientific innovations and technological practices emerging to increase the production and productivity of crops under various agro ecosystems. However holistic channelizing and adoption of developed and emerging technologies by the rainfed dry/dryland farmers can alone make agriculture a profitable venture.  Further, Crop diversification has been conceptualized as a measure of optimal utilization of both rain water and ground water with emphasis on growing less water demanding, high remunerative crops. A dry farming system approach should consider both On-farm and Off-farm activities in a holistic way to ensure food security, sustainability, risk minimization, income and employment generation which ultimately helps in raising the livelihood security and economic status of the farming communities. Agricultural productivity is water centric as water plays a vital role in a crop production. In the recent years water has become one of the precious resources for agriculture as the state has utilized 97.5% of surface water.

On the other hand, the century plus agricultural research institution, TNAU has either a research station or krishivigyankendra or a college in all the districts of the state except for Sivagangadistrictupto 2008. This had left the farmers of Sivaganga district severed from the University and is not able to get the first hand information on agriculture and allied sectors directly from the source of generation. This bareness was resolved during 2008 and this station named as Dryland Agricultural Research Station, Chettinad was born in an area 317 acres on 01.05.2008(G.O. (MS)no.44 Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries(AH4) department dated20.03.2008 / 145th meeting of Board of Management, TNAU)with the main focus on taking up research for improving productivity of drylands and ensuring a better livelihood for dryland farmers. This research station is located at latitude 100 09N, longitude 780 47E and at an altitude of 115 m MSL. The average rainfall received is around 892mm. The soil type is red and red lateritic.


To find a place in the World Map of Dryland Research and Development and alsoto be the destination for the journey of dryland research in the country


  • Evolving drought tolerant varieties suitable for alfisols under rainfed condition.
  • Conduct research on soil health and fertility management.
  • Developing land management and agronomic technologies suitable for dryland crops in alfisols.
  • Focusing on weather based crop planning and plant protection strategies for rainfed crops.
  • Transfer technologies from Farm to Field to Fork (F2F2F) and reaching the un-reached farmers.


Ø  High tech rainfed / dry farming for increasing production and productivity

Ø  In situ Rainwater harvesting and soil and moisture conservation technologies

Ø  Multiplication and distribution of quality seed / planting materials.

Ø  Increasing Water and Fertilizer Use Efficiency in crops

Ø  Integrated Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest and Disease Management 

Ø  Improved post-harvest technologies for reducing the post-harvest losses.

Ø  Creating awareness on Organic farming under rainfed conditions.

Ø  Information Communication Technology for dry farming

Ø  Capacity building for Department Personnel / Farmers Entrepreneurs by strengthening infrastructure facilities in the research institutes.

Ø  Formation of crop specific Farmer Producer Organizations.


It will be effected through a triple mandate of Instructions in the form of trainings, Research and Extension including outreach activities


The progress of the work will be periodically monitored and reviewed by the University authorities besides the feedback from the stake holders for revision / renewal / revalidation / recasting of the research findings/inventions/innovations in farm research and development.

Moving ahead

   Recommendation of crops and cropping system based on soil, rainfall, length of growing season, etc., will be beneficial to the farmers to increase crop yield reasonably and sustainable manner. 

       Efficient utilization of harvested rain water for supplemental micro-irrigation and nutrient use efficiency to enhance crop productivity and livelihood of dryland farmers.

       Imparting training will improve the knowledge level of the dryland farmers through on farm demonstration will help to augment productivity of dryland eco system.

         Effective technology transfer from lab to land and field to fork

         Yield improvement to a tune of 30% from the existing level.

   Additional income of 40% and improvement of socio economic status of dryland farmers.

    Capacity building and improvement in knowledge level of the dryland farmers.

 Major Objectives

  •  To develop strategies for sustainable dry farming systems in the rainfed areas
  • To diversify crops with emphasis on less water intensive, high value crops
  • To develop alternative land uses like arid zone fruits, silvopasture, agro-horticulture and tree farming in IFS mode
  • To implement in situ rain water harvesting management practices and micro irrigation for dryland crops to enhance productivity through recycling of rain water from farm ponds
  • To promote mechanized cultivation under dry farming conditions
  • To impart skill oriented trainings and capacity building to farmers, officials and rural youths in specialized areas to support high tech dry farming.

Values and behaviour

·       Respecting and Empathy for farmers at all levels.

·   Ensure farmers experiences are livelihood supporting and confidence building.

·      Attract and retain youth and talent in farming and create a sense of responsibility to the nation and to the cause.

·         Continuously train farmers to upgrade their skills.

·  Continuous stock taking, auditing and improving technologies and services.

·      Upgrading the delivery mode of technologies in line with changing world.

·    Making research and training are the most integral parts of the institution.

Natural Resources

Climate and Soil

This research station is located at latitude 100 09N, longitude 780 47E and at an altitude of 115 m MSL. The average rainfall received is around 892mm. The farm encompasses an area of 317 acres. The climate is mainly semi-arid tropic. The mean annual rainfall is892mm. The mean maximum temperature is 32.3° C and that of the minimum temperature is 23.5° C.Theaverage wind velocity is 4.4 kmph. Sunshine hours range from 4.5 to 8 per day with an average evaporation of 5.1 mm per day.And the soil type is red and red lateritic.Further, the soils of this region can be considered to represent the major soil types which are found in Sivaganga district. Soils belonging to Surakkudi series,Pattamangalam series, Sembanur series are distributed in this research station.

How to reach

The station is situated on the Rameswaram-Trichy Highway, near the heritage town of kanadukattan and Chettinad. It is just 12 km away from karaikudi new bus stand and 35 km away from Pudukkotttai. It is also well connected by Rail and Air. Both the airports viz., Trichy and Madurai are just 80 km either way.  

Dryland Agricultural Research Station, Chettinad, Sivagangai