Staff Reporter

District wins honours in drip irrigation

Sangareddy: Medak district topped in the implementation of drip irrigation in the cultivation of sugarcane, an innovative idea to reduce consumption of water by almost one third.

So far, 385 hectares under Ganapathi Sugars, 342 hectares under Trident Sugars and 257 hectares under Nizam Deccan Sugars have been converted into drip irrigation.

Cluster approach

The District Water Management Agency (DWMA), which promotes drip irrigation in sugarcane through the Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project, attributed the success to the cluster approach it undertook in 35 villages of 7 mandals.

These 35 villages under predominantly sugar cane producing mandals like Zaheerabad, Kohir, Nyalkal, Sadasivapet, Kondapur, Sangareddy and Andole, having a bore well and a population of 5,317 each, have been exposed to micro irrigation in 822 hectares.

The campaign began in December 2006 with motivational meetings with farmers. As a result, 549 hectares were brought under drip irrigation. Already two villages, Burdipad of Zaheerabad and Rejinthal of Nyalkal, have registered more than 100 hectares each under sugarcane with drip irrigation.

Constraints

The DWMA has identified that the farmers who are willing to convert to drip systems are facing financial problems.

The farmers who could get 70 per cent subsidy on drip irrigation have to satisfy with a limit of Rs 50,000, forcing them to depend on other sources.

Similarly, the implementing agency also noted that the after sales service on the part of the some of the drip providing companies was below standard.

Similarly, SC and ST farmers were unable to find timely help from their respective financing agencies.

Crushing targets

Despite its achievements in drip irrigation, the district lagged behind in the crushing of sugarcane under the three major factories.

Out of 18.42 lakh metric tons of sugarcane supposed to have been crushed this season, only 10.12 lakh metric tons has reached the factories.