Collective farming need of the hour: expert
Seminar on ‘60 years of irrigation development in India’ held
Emphasis should be on developing irrigation projects: Sivaji
VISAKHAPATNAM: Per capita availability of water in the country is on the decline, according to R. Radhakrishna, Chairman of the National Statistical Commission.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘Sixty years of irrigation development in India’ on the occasion of retirement of Prof. N. Bhaskara Reddy on Andhra University campus recently, he made analysis of water resources relating to India.
He said the country having 16 per cent of world population had endowed with only four per cent of fresh water available.
He stated that between 1951-2007, irrigated area from projects increased by 3.47 times, from tanks by 1.9 times and from groundwater by 6.3 times and about 14 per cent of potential remained unutilised due to water-logging, salinity, catchment area deterioration and inefficient water management.
He said water resource scarcity would become a major problem in the country in future especially in view of climate changes taking place globally.
AU Vice-Chancellor Beela Satyanarayana, who presided the NABARD and UGC-sponsored seminar’s inaugural, stressed the need for further development of irrigation in the State and the in the country.
Prof. M. Jagadeswara Rao, former Dean of Academic Affairs, AU, said irrigation being a critical input to agriculture, was the prime engine of growth. He said efficiency of water use should be raised from existing 30 per cent to 50 per cent.
NABARD Chief General Manager K.V. Raghavulu opined that collective farming was necessary for maximising the utilisation of groundwater. He observed that water users’ associations should play a greater role in the development of irrigation.
Former MP and agriculture expert Yellamanchili Sivaji said more emphasis should be laid on developing both major and minor irrigation projects.
Prof. R. Sudarsana Rao, convener of the seminar and head of Economics Department, said they would make suggestions for consideration by the policy-makers.
AU College of Arts and Commerce Principal L.K. Mohan Rao said there was a wide gap between irrigation potential and utilisation.