Re-looking into micro-irrigation implementation to enhance adoption in India

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), India

2 Research Associate, NIRDPR, India,

3 Professor, NIRDPR, India

4 Dean Ag.Eng, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur, India


Introduction: Climate change is a global phenomenon affecting agriculture unevenly across the world. The warmer temperatures create longer growing seasons and faster growth rates for plants, increasing the metabolic rate. Plants will consume more water to sustain and meet the evapotranspiration losses and the turgidity. In such prevailing conditions for efficient use of water, micro-irrigation is one of the best available alternative technologies. In India, use of plastic in agriculture started in the year 1992 and till date Government of India launched several schemes for financial assistance to farmers for micro-irrigation (MI). Since 2015, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated by the government to promote MI throughout country. India has more than 42 million ha MI potential area of which 13 million ha is only covered to date due to implementation challenges in the States.
Materials and Methods: In this context, present study was undertaken to evaluate the implementation mechanism of different States, based on the adoption rate of MI. The objective of the study is to identify the factors contributing to the adoption of MI system and to develop alternative up-scaling approach based on the successful implementation models. Data was collected from five state viz., Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Telanagana States based on the MI adoption rate. Primary and secondary
was collected through questionnaires from different stakeholders engaged in MI implementation in the selected five states. The binary logistic regression and Garrett ranking was used to analyse the data.
Results: The results indicate that the farmers are very well aware of the benefits of MI but they need more technical guidance and training on the water scheduling, fertigation and maintenance. It was also realised from the results that lowest financial assistance i.e., subsidy is provided by Madhya Pradesh and highest by Telangana State. Stakeholder perceptions on implementation of MI showed that the efforts are needed to increase the subsidy rate, improve access to loans with low/free interest rate for MI and integration of MI to lift irrigation schemes. All the state are following online application system through e-portal of respective state and among them Gujarat Green Revolution Company (GGRC) portal from Gujarat found farmer friendly. It is observed that the GGRC model is best fit due to the easy application process, no capping limit on area, bank loan availability and renewable subsidy after seven years. Based on the findings, an alternative implementation method is suggested with mandatory training program to the farmers on irrigation and fertigation scheduling and providing insurance to MI in all of the states. A third party verification and geo-tagging of the fields also helps to monitor the performance and adoption of MI in the states.
Conclusions: The present research was conducted to understand the challenges and alternative options preferred by the stakeholders for re-looking in to implementation of the MI scheme. Increment in the subsidy percentage, trainings on the MI (water scheduling and fertigation) and its maintenance and providing low/interest free loans seems to be viable options in the implementation. The study recommends for preliminary field survey for approval of farmer application, tri-party agreement and third-party verification for effective implementation of the program. A mandatory training program on MI to the beneficiary can also be included into the implementation framework. As MI adoption is less in canal commands, there is a scope for MI in command areas and lift irrigation schemes. The suggested model or approach can show promising response from the beneficiaries as well as the implementing agencies. The model can be a cross learning to other developing countries to improve their implementation models and enhance the area under MI. Improvement in the adoption of MI can enhance the crop production and water productivity by combating the adverse impacts of water scarcity.


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