Irrigation has been a central feature of agriculture
for over 5,000 years. Irrigation helps grow agricultural crops, maintain
landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of
The total geographical area of land in India is 329
(exactly 328.762) m.ha. which is 2.45% of the global land area. The total
arable land (as per Food and Agriculture Organization) is 165.3 m.ha. which is
about 50.2% of total geographical area against the corresponding global figure
Ground water still accounts for lion share (94.5%) of
all the minor irrigation schemes in the country. At the national level, Ground
water schemes are increasing but Surface water schemes are declining.
A majority of minor irrigation schemes (96.7%) and
ground water minor irrigation schemes (98.7%) continue to remain under private
ownership. Most MI structures in India are, therefore, owned by individual
farmers or group of farmers and hence it has maximum outreach for irrigation
purposes. Within this, small and marginal farmers (having less than 2 ha of
land) still own a major share of minor irrigation schemes. This emphasizes the
need for strengthening the network of MI structures for irrigation purposes in
the country which, in turn, will play a crucial role in improving the
livelihood of these farmers.
Uttar Pradesh possesses the largest number of MI
schemes in the country (38 lakhs, 18%) followed by Maharashtra (29.2 lakhs,
13%), Madhya Pradesh (20.82 lakhs, 10%) and Tamilnadu (20.72
There is a drastic increase of 80% in number of deep
tube wells from 14.4 lakhs to 26.1 lakhs. Share of surface water schemes has
slightly reduced from 6% to 5%.
According to Ministry of water resources, State-Wise
Details of Net Irrigated Area (NIA), Net Sown Area (NSA) And Percentage Of NIA to NSA is given which are as follows:
% of NIA.
Jammu & Kashmir
The above table illustrated that still irrigation
service & schemes are not reaching properly in many states of India. Hence
there are many opportunities for irrigation service providers in India.
• Brief in the current scenario on
irrigation practices in India.
• Find out the problems associated with
irrigation management services
• Exploring the probable solutions and
opportunities in irrigation sector.
• Expectations of farmers from
irrigation service provider.
In India, Farmers are using modern as well as
traditional method of irrigation.
Check Basin Method:
In this method, the whole field is divided into basins
according to the capacity of water. Basins are connected through a ‘Dhora’ (A
small drain type flow way), which has raised earthen walls on both sides. Size
of basins are made according to the inflow of water. The main source of water
is located at the highest place in the field.
The width of drains is affected by factors like flow
of water, percentage, slope and structure of the ground etc. The length of
‘Dhora’ is different depending on the basis of slope and formation of the
fields. This method is also prevalent in India as it does not cause any burden
on the farmer.
Furrow Irrigation Method:
Furrow irrigation method is resorted to where crops
are one grown in rows. Along the side of rows of crops, ‘Dol’is formed, and in
between two such ‘Dols’, a furrow is formed in which water flows for
irrigation. The quantity of flow of water depends on demand of water by plants
and the rate of infiltration. They are
mainly of five types:
1. Sloppy Furrow 4. Serial
2. Leveled Furrow 5. Corrugated
3. Contour Furrow
3. Strip Irrigation Method:
In strip irrigation method, fields are divided into
strips of different size. A boundary called ‘Med’ is formed to separate the
strips. These strips are constructed according to the slope. The source of
water is situated at the highest place in the field from where the whole field
can get the flow of water.
The width of strips is decided as per quantity of
water. More wastage of water is caused if strips are wider. Length of strip is
decided by the slope of land and its structure. Effect of soil composition is
also visible on it.
Basin Irrigation Method:
This irrigation method is more suited for horticulture
development. In this method, a raised platform called ‘Thanvla’ is formed
around trees or bushes and they are connected with each other through drains
and the water reaches from one tree to the other. This method is not suitable
In present times, when water crisis is developing very
fast everywhere, we should adopt improved techniques of irrigation to encourage
suitable water management. Nowadays due to water scarcity and increasing
awareness of technology they are switch to modern methods of irrigation i.e.
Drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
Drip irrigation is costlier than sprinkler irrigation
due to its equipment and utility. Basically drip technology focuses on water
saving and improving the yield of the farm.
1. Sprinkler Irrigation Method:
Sprinkler irrigation method is an easy and simple
method of irrigation in present times. The whole land becomes available for
cultivation of crops, whereas in traditional irrigation methods, 15 to 20 per
cent land remains vacant in depressions and boundaries. Modern equipment’s can
also be used in it due to absence of depressions and boundaries. Rate of
infiltration is higher in sandy soils where frequency of watering is more.
Hence, sprinkler irrigation method is more suited to sandy soils.
In sprinkler irrigation method, water is taken from
source to the fields through pipes, whereas in surface irrigation methods only
30-45 per cent water reaches the crops. Such loss of water is avoided in
sprinkler irrigation method. The problem of water logging or ‘kallar’ may be
caused in case of excess water from surface irrigation, whereas no such problem
is caused in sprinkler irrigation method. The balance of groundwater is also
1. There is increase in production and compactness.
2. It is helpful in soil conservation and
stabilization of sand dunes in desert areas.
3. Sprinkler system is considered more suitable in
areas where slit is coagulated on surface of soil after rains, prevents growth
4. This system saves the crop from extreme frost or
5. Fertilizer application as well as insecticide spray
can be done by sprinkler system.
6. Waste land can be improved by less water. Physical
condition and composition of soil can be maintained in a balanced condition by
1. Sprinkler irrigation method is expensive.
2. It requires technical knowledge.
3. Sprinkler irrigation method cannot be used in all
4. Crop is damaged by changing sprinkler system again
5. Water to be used in sprinkler method should be clean.
In spite of the above defects, sprinkler irrigation
method is being adopted with great speed due to increasing water crisis.
2. Drip Irrigation:
A newly developed irrigation system known as drip
irrigation or trickle irrigation, originally developed in Israel, is becoming
popular in areas of water scarcity. In this irrigation system, a small amount
of water is applied at frequent intervals in the form of water droplets through
perforations in plastic pipes or through nozzles attached to tubes spread over the
soil to irrigate a limited area around the plant.
A precise amount of water equal to the daily
consumptive use or the depleted soil water needs to be applied. The soil water
can be maintained at the field capacity during the crop growing period. Deep percolation
losses can be completely prevented and the evaporation loss is also reduced.
The application of water and piping systems needs to
be designed according to the type of crops, topography and weather conditions
typical to the geographical area.
The basic equipment for drip irrigation consists of a
water supply head, a main pipe, lateral pipes and drippers. The water flow in
the pipe system is controlled with control valves and fertilizers can be
applied at the water source. As water passes through the very small outlets of
drippers, it is filtered before h is distributed in the pipe system. Flow rate
of drippers is 2 to 10 liters per hour.
This system of irrigation is established on the basis
of type of crop, distance between plants, requirement of water for crops and
distance of water source from the field.
1. In this method, water directly reaches the roots of
the plants, which take water to plants in balanced quantities.
2. Drip irrigation method saves 30 to 70 per cent
water and it is possible to irrigate three times more area with the same amount
3. In this method, weeds do not spread because water
reaches only near plants and does not spread in the whole field.
4. Fertilizers and insecticides can also reach the
plant directly by solution in the water and it saves 30 to 60 per cent chemical
fertilizers as well as 40 to 50 per cent pesticides along with saving of water.
5. Even in case of uneven lands, drip irrigation
method can do balanced irrigation.
6. Cultivation in saline and alkaline soil also can be
done by this method of irrigation.
7. Crop production is higher by 20 to 40 per cent in
drip irrigation method, because plants can get air and water in required
quantities, resulting in regular growth of crops.
8. Lesser laborers are required for irrigation work.
9. Bacteria causing diseases in crops do not grow
because of dry atmosphere near plants.
1. Drip irrigation method is expensive.
2. It requires special technical knowledge for
successful operation of this method.
3. In heavy soils, it creates problems of flow and
4. Plants are able to get nutritive elements in a very
5. It is not suitable for every crop.
6. Utmost care has to be taken for holes of drippers,
because soil may come along with water at any time, which will prevent water
dripping smoothing from holes.
7. Animals may cause damage to branch pipelines and
Pot Irrigation Method:
Pot irrigation method is more suitable for areas
having scanty rainfall. In saline areas where flow irrigation is not suited,
pot irrigation method is successful. An earthen pitcher is used in this method.
The pitcher is fixed in the ground up to neck.
Holes are made in the pitcher and water is filled in
it so that seepage of water through the holes keeps the nearby soil moist.
Water is filled in these pitchers at regular intervals. This method can be
considered as an alternative of drip irrigation method. But in India, Mostly
sprinkler and drip irrigation are used.
Review of literature:
World agriculture consumes approximately
70% of the fresh water withdrawn per year (UNESCO 2001a). Only about 17% of the
world’s cropland is irrigated, but this irrigated land produces 40% of the
world’s food (FAO 2002).
Population growth, increased agricultural
irrigation, with increasing use of the drip and sprinkler irrigation (David
Worldwide, the amount of irrigated land is
slowly expanding, even though salinization, water-logging, and siltation
continue to decrease its productivity (Gleick 2002).
The large quantities of energy required to
pump irrigation water are significant considerations both from the stand-point
of energy and of water resource management. (Pimentel et al. 2004).
The costs of irrigation for energy and
capital are significant. The average cost to develop irrigated land ranges from
$3800 to $7700 per ha (Postel 1999). Thus, farmers must not only evaluate the
costs of developing irrigated land but also con-sider the annual costs of
Waterlogging is another problem associated
with irrigation. Over time, seepage from irrigation canals and irrigated fields
causes water to accumulate in the upper soil levels. Because of water losses
during pumping and transport, approximately 60% of the water intended for crop
irrigation never reaches the crop (Wallace 2000).
Major irrigation Service
provider in India:
is an Israeli pioneer of drip and
micro-irrigation products for agriculture, greenhouse, landscape and mining
applications. It is the leading brand in India in terms of range of
products and services offered.
Jain Irrigation Systems is a multinational organisation based in Jalgaon, India. JISL has 32 manufacturing plants, manufactures a
number of products, including drip and sprinkler irrigation systems and components, integrated irrigation
automation systems, greenhouses.
EPC is a Mahindra group company, popularly known as EPC
Irrigation (Pioneer of
micro-irrigation in India)
Mahindra acquired majority stake in EPC Industrié Ltd
through preferential issuance of equity shares. EPC provides complete
solution for agriculture with a focus on Micro-Irrigation, Pumps &
inter-related requirements of fertigation & agronomic support.
FINOLEX PLASSON INDUSTRIES PVT. LTD. (FPIPL) is a Joint Venture between Finolex
Group and Plasson Ltd (Israel) in 1992.
They are providing complete irrigation solution to farmer.
Irrigation operates in over 100
countries by virtue of the presence of its predecessor John Deere Water. Rivulis Irrigation™ offers complete range of micro
irrigation components including round and flat drip lines, drip tapes,
filters, hose and tubing, mini and midi sprinklers, foggers, misters,
Markets for Irrigation
services in India:
are basically two types of market for irrigation companies in India which are
1. Open Market: In this market, upper
ceiling for pricing is fixed by Government and it is dealer driven market.
2. Project Market:
It is the subsidy driven market and various guidelines are given by government i.e.
APMIP (Andhra Pradesh micro irrigation project), GGRC (Gujarat green
revolutionary company) & TANHODA (Tamilnadu horticulture development
the existing companies majorly target this project market as they have to
provide subsidized product to farmer and companies get subsidies directly from
According to the existing rules & regulation, the
state government grants subsidy to install a drip irrigation project for a big
farmer up to 5 hectares and for a marginal farmer up to 2.5 hectares. While 60%
of the subsidy is shared by the Centre and 40% by the state, the sharing ratio
was 20% and 80% respectively till last year. No irrigation subsidy can be
availed for 10 years after the first subsidy has been used.
govt. Scheme and initiatives:
From 1st April 2015, Micro Irrigation component of
OFWM (on farm water management) has been subsumed under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. It will be implemented as
Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Micro Irrigation during the financial year
2015-16 as per the same pattern of assistance and cost norms as were prevailing
under OFWM, until revised.
Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana:
The Hon’ble President of India’s address
the joint Session of 16th Lok Sabha is reproduced below: “Each drop
of water is precious. The government is committed to giving high priority to
water security. It will complete the long pending irrigation projects on
priority and launch the ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’ with the motto
of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’. There is a need for seriously considering all options
including linking of rivers, where feasible; for ensuring optimal use of our
water resources to prevent the recurrence of flood and drought. By harnessing
rain water through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’, we will nurture water
conservation and ground water recharge. Micro irrigation will be popularized to
ensure ‘Per drop-More crop.’
To harness the vast amount of energy, the
Rajasthan government subsidized 86 percent solar-powered irrigation in 2011-12
introduced 3 HP DC submersible pump. Initially, the government has set a target
of 50 pumps by the end of the 2013-14 target was increased to 500 pumps; for
2015-16 the target was increased to 10,000 pumps.
A farmer for a rent subsidy for a solar
pump to meet three requirements – a storage source, a drip system and they
should cultivate cash crops. Under the scheme, farmers only pay the remaining
14%, 86% subsidy on the cost of the pump will get.