Micro-irrigation development in India: challenges and strategies
Suresh, A. and Manoj, P. Samuel (2020) Micro-irrigation development in India: challenges and strategies, Current Science. Volume 118, No.8, 25 April 2020, pp.1163- 1168.
6 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2021
Date Written: April 15, 2020
In the context of climate change, micro-irrigation (MI; drip and sprinkler systems) has the potential
to address problems like water scarcity and emission of greenhouse gases from agriculture. The
central and state governments promote MI through heavy subsidies, but without much consideration to supply-side factors like water harvesting, socio-economic factors, including affordability of upfront capital cost and agronomic factors like extant farming system. Despite heavy investments, MI coverage is less than 15% of the potential. This article contextualizes MI development in India and proposes alternative policies to achieve the twin objectives of water harvesting and its efficient usage. They include developing affordable systems, small farm orientation of technology, popularizing MI in canal commands, prioritization and water budgeting, harnessing circular economy in water usage, and developing institutional mechanisms. MI has the potential to serve both as an adaptation and mitigation strategy against climate change.
Keywords: Climate change, micro-irrigation, water harvesting, greenhouse gases, water-use efficiency
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