A target has been set by Maharashtra government to bring 6.61 lakh hectares of agricultural land cultivating sugarcane under drip irrigation. In a meeting held in Mumbai with Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying the drought mitigation measures would be of no help until and unless stern action is not taken to stop the unaudited lifting of water for sugarcane cultivation. Because of the scarcity of water resources state government has announced that they cannot compromise and let water-intensive crops like sugarcane to use unlimited amount of water in the drought stricken districts of Marathwada. It is been planned that Maharashtra state should come under drip irrigation by 2019.

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There’s a model set which need to be implemented, this Israel model says “more crop per drop”. The total sugarcane cultivation in Maharashtra is 10 lakh hectares, of which only 2.5 lakh hectares are so far covered under drip irrigation. Another proposal discussed relating to shifting agriculture pump connections from thermal power to solar energy in phases. As per the report it is indicated that the massive subsidies to agriculture sectors (sugarcane included) can be utilized for the investments in solar sector. Keeping in mind the initial high cost in solar sector, this proposal is comparatively less expensive once infrastructure takes it place. During a visit to Raigaon (district Sangli) Fadnavis visited a drip irrigation project, in which it is seen that almost 1553 farmers came together to adopt the hi-tech automated drip irrigation project across 2009 hectares. The farmers “income per 1,000 litres of water in crop cultivation worked out to Rs 2.79 using the traditional method of floor irrigation. But after adopting the method of drip irrigation the income went up by Rs 13.22.

Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation Cultivation

A computerised sensor equipment to read the temperature, humidity and nutrient levels in soil a new drip irrigation technology is invented which is based on Israeli model. It can also regulate flow of water assessing requirements based on climatic conditions, it also has an in-built system to allow water to reach the roots to ensure better growth. To maximise water use to cover a larger area of irrigation an automated drip irrigation mechanism is introduced.

A less expensive product would be anyway beneficial to the farmers and with this new technology which actually helps in utilization of water resources and covering up larger areas of irrigation is a step to be taken. This “per drop per crop” is indeed a good part of setting up new ways of agriculture and implementing the use of modern technologies.

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