What are the modern methods of irrigation practised in India?

Asked 09-Mar-2018
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What are the modern methods of irrigation practised in India?

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Irrigation plays a crucial role in the agriculture sector in India, as the majority of the country's farmland relies on monsoon rains for water. However, due to the uneven distribution of rainfall across different regions, irrigation is necessary to ensure a stable and consistent food supply.

India has a diverse range of irrigation systems, from traditional flood irrigation to modern sprinkler and drip irrigation methods. Surface irrigation is the most prevalent method, used to water around 60% of the country's farmland. However, modern methods like micro irrigation and drip irrigation are gaining popularity due to their efficiency in water usage and labor reduction.

There are several modern methods of irrigation that are practiced in India, including:

  1. Surface irrigation: This method involves flooding the fields with water from canals, rivers, or other sources.
  2. Sprinkler irrigation: This method uses a system of pipes and sprinklers to distribute water over the fields.
  3. Drip irrigation: This method delivers water directly to the roots of the plants through a network of small tubes or emitters.
  4. Micro irrigation: Similar to drip irrigation but with smaller nozzles and different types of emitters. This method typically uses less water and is more efficient than traditional methods.
  5. Flood-based farming systems: This method of irrigation is specifically for the rainfed areas of India, where water is collected and stored in tanks, ponds, or wells and then used to flood the fields during the dry season.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages and is more suitable for certain types of crops and regions. With the increase in population and water scarcity, water management, and efficient irrigation methods such as Micro irrigation and drip irrigation is gaining popularity in India.

What are the modern methods of irrigation practised in India

Modern methods of irrigation, such as sprinkler and drip irrigation, can save time in several ways:

  1. Automation: These systems can be automated to turn on and off at specific times, reducing the need for manual labor.
  2. Targeted watering: Drip and micro-irrigation systems deliver water directly to the roots of the plants, eliminating the need to flood the entire field. This allows for more precise and efficient use of water.
  3. Reduced labor: These systems can water large areas quickly and with less labor compared to traditional flood irrigation methods which typically required more people to open and close the gates to direct water to the fields.
  4. Cost reduction: With the use of these systems, farmers can reduce labor costs and minimize water wastage, which in turn saves on water and electricity costs.
  5. Control over water: These systems allow farmers to control and monitor the amount of water delivered to their crops, reducing the risk of overwatering or underwatering. This ensures optimal growth of the crops and also makes them less susceptible to disease.

The Government of India has implemented several programs and policies to promote efficient irrigation practices and improve water management. These include the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and the National Water Policy. Despite these efforts, irrigation infrastructure in India still faces several challenges, such as inadequate water storage capacity and poor maintenance of existing systems.

Additionally, the demand for irrigation water is increasing due to population growth, industrialization, and urbanization. Thus, efficient irrigation management is crucial to ensure food security and sustainable use of water resources in India.

In summary, modern methods of irrigation save time by automating the irrigation process, reducing labor requirements, being more efficient in water usage, reducing costs, and providing better control over water management.