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Spread and Economics of Micro-irrigation in India: Evidence from Nine States

The adoption of micro-irrigation projects has resulted in water saving, yield and income enhancement at the farm level. However, the overall impression is that they are capital-intensive and suited to large farms. In this context, a study was undertaken in nine states, mainly to examine the actual area covered compared to the potential area and to understand the adoption level of mi as well as to analyse the cost and returns under different farm categories. The results indicated that only about 9% of the mi potential is covered in the country. Key suggestions include reduction in capital cost of the system, provision of technical support for operation after installation, relaxation of farm size limitation in providing subsidies and the establishment of a single state level agency for implementation of the programme.


Spread and Economics of Micro-irrigation in India: Evidence from Nine States

K Palanisami, Kadiri Mohan, K R Kakumanu, S Raman

The adoption of micro-irrigation projects has resulted in water saving, yield and income enhancement at the farm level. However, the overall impression is that they are capital-intensive and suited to large farms. In this context, a study was undertaken in nine states, mainly to examine the actual area covered compared to the potential area and to understand the adoption level of MI as well as to analyse the cost and returns under different farm categories. The results indicated that only about 9% of the MI potential is covered in the country. Key suggestions include reduction in capital cost of the system, provision of technical support for operation after installation, relaxation of farm size limitation in providing subsidies and the establishment of a single state level agency for implementation of the programme.

The authors wish to thank the scientists from the nine states who did the field survey and provided the cost and returns under micro-irrigation and Ranganathan who helped in the data analysis. The comments of an anonymous referee are gratefully acknowledged.

K Palanisami (, Kadiri Mohan (k.mohan@, K R Kakumanu ( are with the International Water Management Institute (South Asia Regional Office), Hyderabad and S Raman ( is at the Water Management Scheme, Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat.

1 Introduction

ater is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and thereby limiting agricultural development. The capacity of large countries like India to efficiently develop and manage water resources is likely to be a key determinant for global food security in the 21st century (Seckler et al 1998). In India, almost all the easily possible ways for viable irrigation potential have already been tapped. However, the water demand for different sectors has been growing continuously (Saleth 1996; Vaidyanathan 1999) and demand management b ecomes the overall key strategy for managing scarce water resource s (Molden et al 2001). Since agriculture is the major water-consuming sector in India, demand management in agriculture in water-scarce and water-stressed regions would be central to reduce the aggregate demand for water to match the available future supplies (Kumar 2008).

Various options are available for reducing water demand in a griculture. First, the supply-side management practices include watershed development and water resource development through major, medium and minor irrigation projects. The second is through the demand management practices which include improved water management technologies/practices. The microirrigation (MI) technologies such as drip and sprinkler are the key interventions in water saving and improving crop productivity. Evidence shows that up to 40% to 80% of water can be saved and water use efficiency (WUE) can be enhanced up to 100% in a properly designed and managed MI system compared to 30-40% under conventional practice (INCID 1994; Sivanappan 1994 cited in Suresh Kumar 2008). The successful adoption of MI requires, in addition to technical and economic efficiency, two additional preconditions, viz, technical knowledge about the technologies and accessibility of technologies through institutional support systems (Namara 2005).

2 Research Questions and Methodology

With regard to MI, much of the research has been conducted with respect to its economics and its suitability for various crops. The available empirical evidence is comparatively limited with respect to its adoption and economics under different farm categories. Hence, the key questions are: who has access to MI and what is the economics of MI in different farm groups (viz, marginal, small and large farmers)? What are the interventions needed to upscale MI adoption? This paper aims to answer these questions to some extent.

The study was undertaken during 2010. All the states were covered for an analysis of the potential MI area and actual spread.

Economic & Political Weekly Supplement

june 25, 2011 vol xlvi nos 26 & 27


0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Andhra Pradesh Bihar Chhattisgarh Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Nagaland Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh West Bengal Others Total Drip Sprinkler Total

Figure 1: State-wise Potentiality and Actual Spread of MI (%) income and expenditure under crops with and without MI. Farm

level constraints on adoption of MI and suggestions for better adoption were also obtained from the field surveys. The sample was post stratified into marginal, small and large farmers. The secondary data was used to work out the potential for MI in each state and the primary data was used to work out the access to and economics of MI under different farm categories as well as to document the suggestions of the farmers for better adoption of MI in the state. The internal rate of return due to MI was worked out using the annualised capital cost of the system, average life of the MI system and the additional crop income that will occur during the life period of the MI system in the farm. Annualised cost of MI = [(capital cost of MI) *(1+i) AL * i] y[(1 +i) AL-1]. where, AL = Average life of MI system (eight years); i=discount rate (10%)

Using the farm level data, the following regression equation was fitted to study the influence of various factors on area under MI.

Yi = ȕ + ȕ1Xi + ȕ2 D2i _+ İi

oD1i +ȕ3


Yi = Area under MI by ith farmer (ha), X = Farm size of ith Source: Raman (2010). farmer (ha), D1i and D2i = Dummy variables for the ith farmer representing marginal and small farmer category respectively,

Table 1: Potential and Actual Area under MI in Different States (Area in ‘000 ha)

State Drip Sprinkler Total İi = error term P A % P A % P A %

Analysis of variance without replication was used to test the Andhra Pradesh 730 363.07 49.74 387 200.95 51.93 1,117 564.02 50.49 significance of additional income earned by different categories Bihar 142 0.16 0.11 1,708 0.21 0.01 1,850 0.37 0.02

of farmers under MI across the nine states.

Chhattisgarh 22 3.65 16.58 189 59.27 31.36 211 62.92 29.82 Goa 10 0.76 7.62 1 0.33 33.20 11 1.09 9.95 3 Results and Discussion Gujarat 1,599 169.69 10.61 1,679 136.28 8.12 3,278 305.97 9.33 Haryana 398 7.14 1.79 1992 518.37 26.02 2,390 525.50 21.99 3.1 Potential and Current State of Micro-Irrigation Himachal Pradesh 14 0.12 0.83 101 0.58 0.58 115 0.70 0.61

Potential of different MI systems in terms of drip and sprinkler

Jharkhand 43 0.13 0.31 114 0.37 0.32 157 0.50 0.32

was assessed using the state-wise secondary data (Raman 2010).

Karnataka 745 177.33 23.80 697 228.62 32.80 1,442 405.95 28.15

For assessing the potential of MI in different states the variables

Kerala 179 14.12 7.89 35 2.52 7.19 214 16.64 7.77

considered were: state-wise and source-wise irrigated area,

Madhya Pradesh 1,376 20.43 1.48 5,015 117.69 2.35 6,391 138.12 2.16

cropped area and crop-wise suitability for different MI systems.

Maharashtra 1,116 482.34 43.22 1,598 214.67 13.43 2,714 697.02 25.68

While making the assessment, the irrigated area under paddy

Nagaland 11 0.00 0.00 42 3.96 9.43 53 3.96 7.48

and crop area under canal irrigation were not considered. It has

Orissa 157 3.63 2.31 62 23.47 37.85 219 27.10 12.37

been assessed that there is the potential of bringing around 42

Punjab 559 11.73 2.10 2,819 10.51 0.37 3,378 22.24 0.66

million ha under drip and sprinkler in the country (Raman 2010).

Rajasthan 727 17.00 2.34 4,931 706.81 14.33 5,658 723.82 12.79

Out of this, about 30 million ha are suitable for sprinkler irriga-

Tamil Nadu 544 131.34 24.14 158 27.19 17.21 702 158.52 22.58

tion for crops like cereals, pulses and oilseeds in addition to

Uttar Pradesh 2,207 10.68 0.48 8,582 10.59 0.12 10,789 21.26 0.20 West Bengal 952 0.15 0.02 280 150.03 53.58 1,232 150.18 12.19 fodder crops. This is followed by drip with a potential of around Others 128 15.00 11.72 188 30.00 15.96 316 45.00 14.24 12 million ha under cotton, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables, Total 11,659 1,428.46 12.25 30,578 2442.41 7.99 42,237 3,870.86 9.16 spices and condiments; and some pulse crops like red gram, etc.1 P=Potential; A= Actual area.

The percentage of actual area against the potential estimated

Source: Raman (2010) and Indiastat 2010.

under drip irrigation in different states varied between nil in For the farm level analysis on the costs and returns among the Nagaland to as much as 49.74% in Andhra Pradesh, followed by different farm groups, nine states were covered, viz, Andhra Maharashtra (43.22%) and Tamil Nadu with 24.14%. In case of Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Pun-sprinkler irrigation, the percentage of actual area against the jab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Both secondary and primary data potential estimated was as much low as 0.01% (Bihar) and the were collected. Secondary data was collected covering the state-highest of 51.93% (Andhra Pradesh). Compared to the potential level MI sources, cropping pattern, existing area under MI and of 42.23 million ha in the country, the present area under MI government subsidies. Primary data was collected from a 150 accounts for 3.87 million ha (1.42 million ha under drip and farmer sample from each selected state using a semi-structured 2.44 million ha under sprinkler) which is about 9.16% (Table 1), questionnaire covering the source of irrigation, farm size, irri-(Figure 1). The present figures thus reflect the extent of MI sysgated area, area under MI, crops grown, subsidy availed, crop tems covered under different government programmes as well as

State Subsidy (%)
Drip Sprinkler Major Crops under MI Implementing Agency
Andhra Pradesh 70 70 Chillies, mango, sweet orange, groundnut Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project (APMIP)
Autonomous body under department of horticulture
Bihar 90 90 Sugar cane, banana, coconut, maize, groundnut State horticultural mission
Chhattisgarh 70 70 Sweet orange, vegetables Department of agriculture
Goa 50 50 Vegetables Department of agriculture
Gujarat 50 50 Cotton, vegetables, groundnut Gujarat Green Revolution Corporation
Haryana 90 50 Orchard crops Department of agriculture
Himachal Pradesh 80 80 Orchard crops, cole crops Department of agriculture, Himachal Agro.
Jharkhand 50 50 Vegetables Department of agriculture
Karnataka 75 75 Grapes, vegetables, groundnut Department of agriculture and department of horticulture
Kerala 50 50 Coconut, areca nut, pepper Department of horticulture
Madhya Pradesh 70 70 Sweet orange, banana, vegetables Department of horticulture
Maharashtra 50 50 Grapes, banana, sugar cane, cotton Department of agriculture
Orissa 70 70 Vegetables, mango, cashew, banana Orissa Horticultural Development Society (OHDS)
Punjab 75 75 Vegetables, orchard crops Department of soil and water conversation
Rajasthan 70 60 Groundnut, maize Department of horticulture
Tamil Nadu 65 50 Sugar cane, banana, coconut, maize, groundnut Tamil Nadu Horticultural Development Agency
Uttar Pradesh 50 100 Vegetables and mango, sugar cane Special Agricultural Department Scheme for Bundlekhand
Uttrakhand 50 50 Potato, groundnut, orchard crops Department of horticulture
West Bengal 50 50 Banana, maize, mango Department of FPI and horticulture
Source: Raman (2010); Field survey.
Economic & Political Weekly Supplement june 25, 2011 vol xlvi nos 26 & 27 83

own investment by the farmers. However, the actual area under MI may vary according to the extent of use by the farmers.

3.2 MI and Government Subsidy

Since the introduction of MI in India, government agencies are fully aware of the fact that the cost is high particularly for the marginal and poor farmers. Realising this, the central and state governments, apart from announcing subsidy schemes, mediate with the manufacturers from time to time and try to keep the unit cost as low as possible. The central government also has launched a massive country-wide scheme to promote MI, viz, a centrally sponsored scheme (CSS) on MI which came into effect in 2005-06. But even before the start of the CSS, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states had MI schemes. However, the subsidy levels were comparatively low and the range varied among different states from 50 to 65%, depending upon the MI systems. The implementation of MI has gradually accelerated in all the states due to CSS on MI and the increase in physical performance was of the order of nearly 800% in Madhya Pradesh, 300% in Punjab and 150% in Orissa during 2006-08 (NCPAH 2009). In a span of five years (April 2005 and December 2009) an area of around 3.56 lakh ha was brought under MI in the country (Figure 2). The level of subsidy being followed in different states and the implementing agencies are given in Table 2. The major crops vary from field crops (cotton, maize, groundnut, sugar cane) to vegetables, fruits (banana, papaya, mango, grapes) and plantation crops.

Many a time there is a time lag between the decision taken on the quantum of the subsidy and its actual implementation. For example, the subsidy for drip systems for banana in 2010 was Rs 65,000 per ha which is based on the calculation done in 2008. Any increase in the raw material prices during the intervening period will reflect on the actual cost of the system which will be Rs 80,000 per ha, thus decreasing the subsidy percentage at the

Table 2: Subsidy Levels Prevailing and Implementing Agency in Different States Figure 2: MI Adoption in the Country (2005-09, in ha)










2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 (Up to

Source: NCPAH (2009). December)

end users’ level. Hence a periodical review of the unit cost is important so that the full benefit of the subsidy is realised.

3.3 MI Adoption by Various Farm Categories
3.3.1 Farm Size and Area under MI

Table 3 reveals that the majority of the farmers adopting MI in Kerala (52%) are marginal farmers, whereas the majority of farmers in Andhra Pradesh (70.67%), Karnataka (66%), Orissa (62.67%) and Punjab (55.34%) are small farmers. Only in Maharashtra (63.33%) and Tamil Nadu (64.67%) are the majority of the farmers large farmers (Figure 3). Namara et al (2005) reported that the majority of the farmers who adopted drip and sprinkler irrigation systems in Gujarat and Maharashtra are rich to very rich farmers. Even after providing the much needed support for promotion of MI, the percentage of area under MI is not remarkable and this has been assessed by farmer category in nine states. Even though the return is high under MI, farmers are reluctant to expand the area due to other constraints like a high initial capital cost, lack of technical knowledge in the operation and maintenance of the systems and type of crops grown. The story is as in the SRI adoption where the SRI results in higher yields and income , but the adoption level is much less due to operating constraints like a lack of skilled labour, high management intensity, etc (Palanisami and Karunakaran 2010).



Figure 3: Adoption of MI System with Respect to Different Farmers’ Categories (%)


Marginal Large
AP TN Kerala Karnataka MH Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Gujarat
3.3.2 Relationship between MI Area
and Farmer Categories

The regression results (Table 4) show that the coefficient of farm size is significant at the 1% level whereas coefficient of dummy variable for small farmers is significant at 10% level, whereas the dummy variable for medium farmers is not significant. The average farm size of small farmers in the nine states was 0.91 ha, 2.41 ha and 8.51 ha for marginal, small and large farmers, respectively. On the average, each farmer could allot

Table 3: Farm Size and Area Irrigated by MI Systems

State Farmer % of Farmers Average Farm Average Area % of Area
Category Size (ha) under MI (ha) under MI
Andhra Pradesh Marginal 6.00 0.82 0.76 92.68
Small 70.67 1.7 0.90 52.94
Large 23.33 14.08 2.96 21.02
Tamil Nadu Marginal 13.33 0.62 0.48 77.42
Small 22.00 1.72 1.31 76.16
Large 64.67 4.67 2.41 51.61
Kerala Marginal 52.00 0.54 0.15 94.44
Small 28.00 1.44 1.25 86.80
Large 20.00 2.38 2.22 93.27
Karnataka Marginal 6.00 1.89 1.33 70.37
Small 66.00 5.71 1.82 31.87
Large 58.00 18.12 6.59 36.37
Maharashtra Marginal 20.00 1.80 0.90 50.00
Small 16.67 3.75 2.25 60.00
Large 63.33 6.60 3.40 51.52
Orissa Marginal 23.33 0.51 0.07 13.72
Small 62.67 1.74 1.23 70.44
Large 14.00 15.52 9.56 61.60
Punjab Marginal 5.33 0.8 0.40 50.00
Small 55.34 2.7 1.30 48.15
Large 39.33 8.2 4.30 52.44
Rajasthan Marginal 14.00 0.43 0.4 93.02
Small 35.33 1.16 0.95 81.90
Large 50.67 3.41 2.54 74.49
Gujarat Marginal 02.00 0.8 0.58 72.50
Small 20.67 1.75 1.13 64.57
Large 77.33 3.65 3.0 82.19

The experiences of the GGRC in Gujarat indicated that in the recent years more of small and marginal farmers are adopting the MI (personal communication from Raman 2010). Source: Survey data.

Table 4: Relationship between Area under MI, Farm Size and Category of Farms

Variables Coefficients Std Error t-stat P-value
Intercept 1.4249 0.5686 2.5058 0.0197
Farm size (ha) 0.3152 0.0553 5.6963 0.0000
Dummy variable for marginal farmers (D1) -1.1491 0.6161 -1.8650 0.0750
Dummy variable for small farmers (D2) -0.8350 0.5629 -1.4834 0.1515
Dependent variable: Area under MI (ha), R2 = 0.814, Adj R2= 0.7902.

about 0.32 ha of every additional ha of land to MI irrespective of the farm size category.

3.4 Cost and Returns with Micro-Irrigation

The cost of the MI system and farmers’ share after subsidy varied across farm sizes. It is comparatively low in larger farms compared to the other farms due to economies of scale (Table 5, p 85). In Kerala, due to intercropping of the wide spaced perennial crops like rubber, coconut and areca nut, the unit cost of the system is comparatively less. In all the states, the quantum of the actual subsidy is more than 30% which is considered lower than the subsidy announced. Hence, this may be one of the reasons for the slow spread of the MI in differen t states. Even though MI could pay for investment, farmers still expect a subsidy because of the following reasons: (a) it is capital intensive as it varies from Rs 70,000 to 1.3 lakh per ha depending upon the crops and type of systems (drip or sprinkler) and farmers are reluctant to make this investment quickly, (b) farmers’ knowledge in the operation and maintenance of the MI systems is very limited as often the systems are facing a lot of problems in terms of clogging of the filters and drippers; also the required pressure from the pumps is not always maintained due to the poor conditions of the pumpsets resulting in low pump discharge, (c) except for wide spaced and commercial crops, MI is not suitable for all crops and spacing. Except in groundwater overexploited regions, farmers in other regions do not see MI as an immediate need. Hence, providing incentives in terms of subsidy helps the farmers introduce MI in their farms and save the water.

The internal rate of return (IRR) also varies across states and farm categories, where it was ranging from 3 to 35% in the case of marginal farmers, 14 to 88% for small farmers and 15 to 128% for large farmers. The IRR is higher among the large farmers of Kerala and Maharashtra as they have a diversified intercropping pattern in the orchard/plantation crops, ensuring higher rate of returns. In addition, the plantation crops are widely spaced and the cost of investment is low.

The net income earned is significantly different between states (P value = 0.0.0594) at 10% level of significance (Table 6, p 85). The average additional income varies between Rs 8,351 (Kerala) and Rs 20,000 (Punjab). However, the net incomes are not significantly different between the three categories (P value = 0.18128) of farmers. The average additional income due to drip irrigation for a marginal farmer is Rs 14,512 per ha, small farmer Rs 16,476 and large farmer Rs 18,353.

3.5 Farmers’ Suggestions for Better Adoption of MI Systems

Even with the proved benefits and applicability of MI systems under different farm categories, the overall adoption level is not high. This might be due to other constraints. This paper further examines the suggestions from farmers and also the policy r ecommendations at different levels.

The major suggestions include provision of technical support for MI operation after installation, relaxation of farm size limitatio n in providing MI subsidies, supply of liquid fertilisers, improved marketing facilities and access to more credit to expand the area under MI. The results indicate that small farmers from Andhr a

Table 5: MI Cost and Returns across States and Farm Categories

mind, discussions were held with the MI companies, experts and

Average Total Cost of the System (Rs/ha) Net Income (Rs/ha) IRR (%)

farmers to identify the ways and means of reducing the cost. For

State Farmer Drip Sprinkler Drip Sprinkler Drip Sprinkler Category example, the International Development Enterprise (IDE) uses the Andhra Pradesh M (9) 71,380 -15,340 -16 -low cost drip and sprinklers to benefit smallholders, where the S (91) 23,282 6,104 25 27cost is very low but the life period of the system is also compara

69,794 17,612

L (50) 65,373 -17,112 -27

tively short. Also they do not come under the government subsidy

Tamil Nadu M (20) 81,302 -12,842 -3

norms as well as under the norms of the Bureau of Indian Stand

S (33) 74,509 -15,339 -14

ards (BIS) due to their fragile structure. Jain Irrigation is now in

L (97) 66,908 -26,039 -60

troducing the thin walled pipes (Chapin tubes) and also help in

Kerala M (78) 15,900 -5,310 -35 S (42) 18,833 -9,217 -88 -the economic design of the MI systems at farm level where tubes L (30) 18,462 -10,525 -128 -with varying sizes are used to minimise the cost. The following Karnataka M (9) 57,906 -15,699 -29 -cost reduction and capacity building options are also important: S (99) 56,950 -15,439 -29

L (42) 56,553 -15,331 -29

(i) Field Level: There is good scope for reducing the system cost

Maharashtra M (25) 42,053 -10,026 -22

by slight modifications in the agro-techniques to suit small and

S (20) 48,085 -13,000 -29

medium farms like paired row planting. Enough orientation needs

L (105) 45,400 -24,360 -115

to be given to the manufacturers/dealers/farmers such that the

Orissa M (15) 95,600 25,800 20,770 15,000 17 138

most economic crop specific design can be made. Soil texture

S (114) 89,750 22,330 21,515 13,977 22 167 L (21) 73,800 22,100 16,365 14,667 18 197 should be one important parameter in fixing the emitter spacing.

Punjab M (8) 98,456 -22,000 -18 -This can also reduce the system cost significantly as presently, S (83) 89,745 57,000 20,000 9,500 18 5irrespectiv e of the soil type, the dripper spacing adopted is 60 cm L (59) 86,563 42,000 18,000 9,500 15 11

and less. There is a need to redesign low cost drip and MI systems

Rajasthan M (25) -----

to suit the needs of the small and marginal farmers.

S (50) 19,736 6,500 -43

L (75) 11,765 5,860 -98

(ii) State Level: Often there is a large time lag between the decision

Gujarat M (3) 61,795 14,106 19

taken about the subsidy and actual implementation. Hence a peri

S (31) 72,482 19,300 19,683 12,617 29 188 L (116) 73,195 10,512 19,089 10,864 27 410 odical review of the unit cost is important as is done in few states. S=Small farmer; M=marginal farmer; L=large farmer; IRR=Internal Rate of Return.

Table 7: Suggestions by the Farmers for Better Adoption and Management

Figures in the parenthesis indicate number of farmers under each farm category.

State Percentage of Farmers Who Suggested

Source: Survey data.

Farmer More Supply Providing Credit to No Farm Scientific Category Technical Liquid Marketing Cover More Ceiling Knowledge

Table 6: ANOVA for Net Income under Drip Irrigation Systems

Support Fertilisers Facilities Area under on Crop Source of Variation SS Df MS F P-value F Crit Production

Rows 2.8E+08 7 39958830 2.618697 0.059385 2.193134 Andhra Pradesh M (9) 100.00 11.11 0.00 11.11 33.33 0.00

Columns 59023216 2 29511608 1.93404 0.18128 2.726468 S (91) 96.70 5.49 0.00 0.00 10.99 6.59

L (50) 10.00 0.00 2.00 0.00 56.00 0.00 Tamil Nadu M (20) 90.00 50.00 100.00 100.00 90.00 50.00

Error 2.14E+08 14 15259048

Total 5.52E+08 23 S (33) 90.91 42.42 60.61 96.97 96.97 48.48

L (97) 92.78 30.93 97.94 97.94 97.94 49.48

Pradesh and Punjab and large farmers from Tamil Nadu are in need

Kerala M (78) 50.00 7.69 29.49 24.36 20.51 7.69

of more technical support for the adoption and manage ment of MI.

S (42) 66.67 9.52 30.95 33.33 4.76 9.52Liquid fertilisers are requested from Karnataka. Market facilities L (30) 70.00 0.00 10.00 63.33 73.33 3.33

of MI systems are also important in the adoption as indicated by Karnataka M (9) 11.11 88.89 11.11 66.67 0.00 0.00 S (99) 5.05 19.19 22.22 44.44 5.05 4.04

farmers in Tamil Nadu and Punjab. At the same time farmers from

L (42) 4.76 21.43 23.81 50.00 59.52 0.00

these two states suggested the provision of more credit facilities to

Maharashtra M (25) 20.00 24.00 16.00 32.00 8.00 88.00

increase the area under MI (Table 7) .

S (20) 25.00 30.00 90.00 100.00 40.00 70.00 L (105) 5.71 21.90 54.29 53.33 55.24 50.48 4 Conclusions and Recommendations Orissa M (15) 80.00 40.00 40.00 40.00 6.67 0.00 S (114) 47.37 12.28 32.46 14.91 25.44 7.89

Spread of MI India has been widely noticed in the last 10 years.

L (21) 100.00 85.71 66.67 90.48 80.95 9.52

Even after substantial promotional efforts by the government

Punjab M (8) 0.00 0.00 0.00 100.00 0.00 0.00

and private organisations, the rate of adoption of MI technology

S (83) 93.98 0.00 97.59 95.18 30.12 91.57is still very low compared to the potential. Only a few states like L (59) 89.83 38.98 96.61 94.92 54.24 89.83

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have expanded Rajasthan M (25) 40.00 0.00 56.00 20.00 0.00 48.00 S (50) 46.00 60.00 86.00 64.00 24.00 58.00

the area under MI. The poor adoption can be attributed to number

L (75) 1.33 20.00 74.67 80.00 64.00 24.00

of factors such as high cost, complexity of the technology and

Gujarat M (3) 66.67 33.33 0.00 33.33 0.00 66.67

other socio-economic issues such as a lack of access to credit

S (31) 19.35 19.35 25.81 19.35 12.90 38.71facilities, fragmented landholdings, localised crop pattern, etc. L (116) 23.28 11.21 18.10 10.34 39.66 37.07

Reducing the capital cost and increasing technical know-how M = marginal; S = small; L = large farmers.

Figures in the parenthesis indicate number of farmers under each farm category. will help the spread of the MI in a bigger way. Keeping this in Source: Survey data.

Economic & Political Weekly Supplement

june 25, 2011 vol xlvi nos 26 & 27


Discussions with the MI companies and officials also indi-i ncluding routine operation and maintenance. Fertigation (the cated that the differential subsidy pattern for different crops application of fertilisers through irrigation) is not done in most of being followed in different regions is affecting the farmers and the sample farms and hence to increase the crop productivity and the implementing agencies. Hence it is important to introduce a income, fertigation should be adopted in all the MI systems. uniform subsidy across the state. Currently, different govern-

Capacity building units should be encouraged in each region. ment departments or agencies are involved in the implementa-

Recent experiences indicated that in Tamil Nadu, the introduction of the subsidy-oriented MI schemes. Due to the variation in tion of the TNDRIP capacity building programme in 2009 coverthe norms of different schemes which are implemented by ing 100 villages and 1,000 farmers had resulted in a 17% yield differen t agencies, it is difficult to get all the details as and increase and a 23% water saving in different crops compared to when required. drip farmers without capacity building activities. Training for un-

One of the major suggestions rendered by the farmers during employed village youths to reduce the time lag in installation and the study was the need for of technical support. In this connec-for entrepreneurship development is also important. A special tion, the capacity building of the implementing team is important purpose vehicle such as the Gujarat Green Revolution Company which, in turn, can train the farmers in the use of MI systems in each state should be created to handle MI implementation.


1 In addition to drip and sprinklers, there is potentiality for bringing an area of about 2.8 million ha under mini-sprinkler for crops like potato, onion, garlic, groundnut, cabbage, cauliflower, etc (Rama n 2010).


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