Indian Agriculture is in ‘dire need’ of Precision Irrigation Technology
22 Dec 2019 | 01:06 AM | Sangawari
"The agricultural sector in India currently consumes about 80 percent of water in India, due to the inefficient conventional methods of irrigation. The recent report from NITI Aayog also confirms this."
Water use efficiency refers to the ratio of water used in plant metabolism to water loss by the plant through transpiration, also indicates that India uses 2-3 times more water than China, Brazil, and the US to produce one unit of food crop. This clearly shows that India spends more water for irrigation and that could also be very well reduced as like other countries.
In the conventional irrigation method, normally the plant is irrigated at the interval of 8-15 days and the water distribution uniformity is limited up to 33% only. This means the irrigation efficiency is reduced and the plant does not get the total applied quantity of water. Only 35% to 40% of the total quantity of water is utilized by the plant in reality.
So here comes the alternative precision irrigation technology, Micro-irrigation. Micro-irrigation is a modern method of irrigation; by this method, water is irrigated through drippers, sprinklers, foggers and by other emitters on the surface or subsurface of the land. Micro Irrigation has received considerable attention from farmers for its perceived ability to contribute significantly to groundwater resources development, agricultural productivity, and economic growth.
Drip irrigation method supplies water directly to the root zone of a crop through a network of pipes and emitters. There is a water-saving of 30-70 percent for different crops under drip when compared to conventional methods like flooding and basin irrigation.
Drip Irrigation also increases the productivity of different crops by 30-90 percent. According to impact study of the National Mission on Micro Irrigation in 2014 reveals that productivity increases by 42-53 percent in fruit and vegetable crops when cultivated under Micro-irrigation.
Besides it's proven advantages in Agronomy, It also helps to reduce irrigation cost by 20-50 percent, electricity consumption by around 30 percent and reduce fertilizer consumption by about 28 percent.
However, Drip irrigation is considered to be highly suitable for wide-spaced like coconut and high-value commercial crops like flower and vegetable crops. It is also being used for cultivating oilseeds, pulses, cotton, and even paddy and wheat.
To achieve the objective of ‘per drop more crop’, the Central government is promoting drip Irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. Besides National Mission for Horticulture is promoting drip and sprinkler irrigation for horticultural crops.
Source: IMoT Agri Forum