Data Focus

States leading in micro-irrigation reap benefits from new scheme

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on July 09, 2021

The scheme focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at farm level through micro irrigation systems

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have reaped maximum benefits from the Centrally-sponsored Scheme of Per Drop More Crop component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC).

Out of 53.73 lakh hectares covered under the micro-irrigation under this scheme, Karnataka has covered 10,92,874 hectares that is 20 per cent of the total micro-irrigation under the scheme while Tamil Nadu has covered 8,06,966 hectares (15 per cent of the total).

Gujarat (14 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (14 per cent) and Maharashtra (11 per cent) are the other three States which have benefited from the scheme.

Interestingly, these top five States have already achieved micro-irrigation of 38-70 per cent. States like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which have less than 10 per cent micro-irrigation, have not shown much enthusiasm for the scheme.

 

Water use efficiency

The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare is implementing the PMKSY-PDMC from 2015-16 across the States. The scheme focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at farm level through micro irrigation systems, including drip and sprinkler irrigation systems.

Of the total area of 53.73 lakh hectares covered under the scheme, drip irrigation covered 28.23 lakh hectares and sprinkler irrigation covered 25.50 lakh hectares through PMKSY-PDMC from 2015-16 to March 2021. The scheme is vital for Indian agriculture considering that 27 States (including UTs) have less than 30 per cent micro-irrigation system out of which 23 have less than 15 per cent micro-irrigation. Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare show that the net irrigated area in the country is 68,649 thousand hectares. The agricultural land covered under micro-irrigation is 12,908.44 thousand hectares. This means that out of total irrigated land in the country only 19 per cent is under micro-irrigation.

Benefits and funds

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s recent evaluation studies of the scheme, the coverage of micro irrigation is relevant in achieving national priorities such as substantially improving on-farm water use efficiency, enhancing crop productivity, ensuring better returns to farmers and generating employment opportunities. The scheme has been effective in terms of ensuring benefits to farmers including higher productivity, reduction in labour cost, water consumption, power utilisation and fertiliser use.

About 4.85 lakh micro-level water harvesting / secondary storage structures have been created under the scheme to supplement micro-irrigation. Andhra Pradesh (1,68,613) Maharashtra (1,23,399) and Tamil Nadu (57,114) have created maximum structures.

The Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with a corpus of ₹5,000 crore was created under Nabard in 2018-19 to facilitate the States to mobilise resources to provide top-up/additional incentives to farmers for incentivising micro-irrigation beyond the provisions available under PMKSY-PDMC. Under the fund, projects worth ₹3,970.17 crore have been approved in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, West Bengal, Punjab, and Uttarakhand. This would facilitate in bringing 12.83 lakh hectares under micro-irrigation.

 

Published on July 08, 2021

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