The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) was launched in 2015 as a national mission aimed at enhancing farm productivity and optimizing resource utilization.
PMKSY’s core principles are encapsulated in its slogans: “Har Khet Ko Pani” (water for every field) and “More crop per drop.”
Micro-irrigation, characterized by low-pressure and low-flow-rate water delivery, is a promising technique that directs water precisely to the root zones of plants.
Expanding Cultivated Areas:
- Micro-irrigation allows for the cultivation of crops that would be unfeasible under conventional irrigation systems due to limited water resources.
- For instance, in water-scarce regions like Rajasthan, the adoption of micro-irrigation has enabled farmers to grow high-value crops such as olives and pomegranates.
Enhancing Water Use Efficiency:
- Micro-irrigation significantly reduces water consumption and energy usage in pumping, aligning with PMKSY’s objective of water conservation.
- The practice of fertigation, which involves delivering fertilizers through irrigation water, not only saves on fertilizer costs but also enhances nutrient utilization. An example is the increased yield of sugarcane with reduced fertilizer use in Maharashtra.
- Advanced technologies, including GPS-based systems and wireless sensor networks, can be integrated with micro-irrigation to facilitate precision farming.
- By monitoring and adjusting water and agrochemical applications according to soil and plant conditions, precision farming maximizes crop yields. A case in point is the successful implementation of precision farming in Punjab.
Promoting Sustainable Practices:
- Micro-irrigation aids in recharging aquifers and promoting sustainable water conservation.
- It curtails surface runoff and deep percolation, and its integration with rainwater harvesting and micro-watershed development efforts enhances water availability. The successful example is seen in Tamil Nadu’s comprehensive water management practices.
- By increasing crop yields, lowering input costs, and enhancing crop diversification, micro-irrigation contributes to improving the livelihoods of farmers.
- It also enhances resilience to climate change, as exemplified by Andhra Pradesh’s success in promoting micro-irrigation among its farmers.
In conclusion, micro-irrigation serves as a pivotal component within the framework of PMKSY. Its adoption aligns with the mission’s vision of expanding irrigation coverage and improving water use efficiency.
By addressing aspects from source creation to field application, micro-irrigation plays a crucial role in realizing the broader objectives of PMKSY and fostering sustainability and profitability in Indian agriculture.