The term rain-fed production refers to the form of agriculture applying for most farmed land, the one depending on rainfall for water supply.
As rainfall usually occurs rather scattered than periodically, to enable agricultural production agricultural water management (AWM) is essential. Depending on local climatic and geographic conditions different measures need to be taken, for examples depending on amount and distribution of annual rainfall as well as on the topography of the managed land. Current climatic changes apparitional in shifts of weather patterns even enforce this necessity and call for measures to distribute the available rain water as ideally as possible and at the same time to minimise the damage water can cause to soil if not properly managed.
As soil and water can be seen as the two main factors of agricultural production, the productivity of farmed land always depends on their proper management.
Different elements need to be taken into consideration when discussing AWM. First there are local climatic conditions, for example are we looking at a dry climate with low amount of annual rainfall, where water is scarce or is it a humid climate with large amounts of rain fairly even distributed over the year.
Next the topography of the watershed needs to be considered, as steep slopes obviously call for different measures than a flat plateau. There is no one-for-all technical solution. The agro-ecological and socio-economical conditions need to be assessed to find a combination of techniques suitable to the areas specific conditions.