Kharif has always been the major cropping season in the country because of the abundant availability of rainfall during this season. The season usually begins in July and ends in mid-October. Aman is the dominant crop of this season, which is usually harvested in December. Currently, the transplanted variety of Aman is grown over 60% of all cultivable lands throughout the country. From the viewpoint of the livelihood strategy of the majority of the people, Aman is the key crop, a failure of which poses serious threats to the food security of poor households. Unfortunately, such an important crop reaches its reproductive stage when the available moisture is significantly reduced. This leads to high moisture stress for the standing crops, especially during the last one and a half months before the harvest. Intensity of drought increases with long periods without rainfall coupled with high temperatures from late October to the end of November.
Supplementary irrigation reduces the risk of Kharif drought significantly, especially during flowering stages. Given the intricate river networks throughout the country and the fact that most of the croplands are located in the floodplains, it is possible to cope with Kharif drought if there are adequate surface flows in the river systems during the postmon-soon months. In the absence of adequate surface flows, it is also possible to offer supplementary irrigation to overcome moisture stress, depending on the availability of groundwater resources.
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