‘It is not easy to penetrate new agricultural technologies with farmers’

Drip irrigation, which is regarded as one of the most efficient methods of irrigation, has made an inroad in different parts of Karur district, which comprises many arid regions.

When the drip irrigation was introduced about 10 years ago in the district not many farmers came forward to endorse the method mainly because of lack of knowledge and awareness. However, the field as well as official reports suggest that more and more farmers had come forward to install drip irrigation system in their fields basically to tide over the crisis of water shortage.

It is said that there were hardly any drip irrigation systems in Karur district till 2006.

It was only in 2007-08 financial year, the farmers shown interest to adopt the scientific technique, which is one of the proven techniques to save water, particularly in dry regions. Fifty seven progressive farmers chose to install the system on 128 hectares in 2007-2008 as against the target of bringing 300 hectares under the National Mission of Micro Irrigation.

The target was doubled next year, which saw the implementation of drip irrigation on 320 hectares of land thanks to the interest shown by 212 farmers. Although the target remained unchanged in 2009-10, 492 hectares of land were brought under the system. In 2010-11, 633 farmers introduced the drip irrigation on 721 hectares of land.

As per the latest figure of the Department of Horticulture, drip irrigation has been introduced in 3,230 hectares up to March 2014 since 2006 as against the total target of 5797. A sum to the tune of Rs.13 crore has been spent against the total allotment of Rs.16.40 crore.

“The achievement is remarkable. It is not easy to penetrate new agricultural technologies with farmers. Initially we found it difficult to find progressive farmers. Now, several farmers continue to approach the officials for installing drip irrigation in their fields,” says A. Natarajan, Horticultural Officer, Karur.

The drip irrigation had penetrated in all blocks including Aravakuruchi, Paramathi, Krishnarayapuram, Thogamalai and Kulithalai. There were reasons to believe that the penetration would take a new drive in the years to come.

“When I came to know the successful implementation of the system in some areas, I visited there and studied the performance. It has forced to introduce drip irrigation in my fields. I hope, it will not only preserve water but reduce expenditure on irrigating my fields,” says Dr. V. Sivaramakrishnan, a part time farmer, who has brought about 3.5 acres under the drip irrigation at Sevvayan village near Kulithalai.