Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Micro irrigation answer to depleting ground water level: Sharad Pawar

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said the ground water level in the country is decreasing and there is an urgent need to check this through encouraging micro irrigation.

"The ground water table in the country has come down in the last few years and in order to check this we should work with technologies like drip and sprinkler irrigation, which minimises loss of water," Pawar said in his inaugural address at a national conclave on micro irrigation here.

Emphasising upon the need to encourage drip and sprinkler irrigation in the country, Pawar added that the government has implemented the National Mission on Micro Irrigation (NMMI) to propagate the use of this technology among the farmers.

The minister said that during the last decade the main concern before the country was self-sufficiency and food security, but now it is water conservation.

On the back of record production of foodgrains in the last few year, the country has been able to export agri products also.

India's agricultural exports in the last fiscal were about $ 37 million, Pawar added.

So far the country has shipped over 4 million tonnes of non-basmati rice, 2.5 million tonnes of sugar, 1.5 million tonnes of wheat and around 3.5 million bales of cotton, he added.

Rajiv Mundhra, Chairman, Indian Chamber of Commerce, which organised the conclave, said that the competitive advantage of micro irrigation lies in its lower usage of water and energy, process automation, reduced weed levels and improved production on margin land.

Various global and national level studies suggest that the water availability in India has started to deplete and by around 2050, the country would be on the brink of water scarcity, he added.

There is an urgent need to increase the penetration level of micro irrigation in the country to check the reducing ground water levels as well as to prevent wastage of water, Mundhra said.
Original Article Here

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