Prospects of micro-irrigation in India
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The demand for land and water in India is continuously escalating due to increased population. The land can be used intensively on even up to 3 crops in a year for which water is needed. Therefore water management and increased production are very essential and crucial for the development.
Research studies conducted in India by various institutions have indicated that water saving is about 40–80% and the yield increase is up to 100% for different crops by using micro-irrigation. The incremental benefit-drip cost ratio (BI/CD) worked out for various crops ranges from 1.35 to 13.35 excluding water saving and 2.78 to 32.32 including water saving. It has also been proved that drip irrigation, which is a type of micro-irrigation, is technically feasible and socially acceptable not only for large farms but also in small and marginal farms.
Drip irrigation can be adopted to large areas irrigated from wells especially for wide spaced high value crops. This method is also suitable for hilly and undulated tracts, coastal sand terrains, and to a great extent in the water scarce areas of South and Western India. About 18 million ha are under fruit, vegetables and plantation crops and the present area under drip is only about 55,000 ha. Therefore the potential and prospects of drip irrigation is very high in the coming years.
Key wordscost benefit analysis increased production irrigation methods micro-irrigation water management
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