Mangaluru

Adopt drip irrigation to save water, says Horticulture Department

The department says that this method will also help save crops during summer.

The department says that this method will also help save crops during summer.  

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Pressure controlled drip irrigation systems are now available

With water scarcity over the years becoming a cause of concern for farmers in Dakshina Kannada, the Department of Horticulture has advised them to opt for drip irrigation on a large scale to save water and also crops during summer.

The State government, which declared Bantwal and Mangaluru taluks as drought-hit in 2017, again declared the entire Dakshina Kannada as partially drought-hit this January. Uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater and deforestation have resulted in the groundwater level falling below 500 ft in some pockets of the district.

If existing water is judiciously made use of by adopting drip irrigation for arecanut, coconut, banana, cashew, pineapple and other horticultural crops, 40 % to 50 % of water can be saved, said Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada, H.R. Nayak.

Nutrients can also be fed to the crops through drip irrigation, he added.

If agriculturists adopted drip irrigation in farm land up to five acres, the government provides subsidy up to 90 % for such land holdings. As many small farmers fell under this category, the government subsidy helped them immensely, he said.

In case if drip irrigation was adopted for crops spread over five acres and up to 12.50 acres, the government will provide 45 % subsidy to such farmers.

Mr. Nayak said that there is a wrong perception among some farmers that the entire farm land, especially in arecanut plantations, should be made wet to irrigate palms or plants. It is not needed, if water enough is fed to the roots. If drip irrigation system is adopted, it also helped in controlling the growth of weeds in plantations.

The Deputy Director said that Dakshina Kannada had about 1,53,000 hectares under horticultural crops. Of this, about 94,000 hectares are under arecanut and about 27,000 hectares are under coconut.

Mr. Nayak said that the government gave preference to farmers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes while sanctioning subsidy. The government-approved agencies will help farmers adopt drip irrigation.

If drip irrigation is adopted, it also helped farmers to expand the area of crops as water saved can be diverted to grow the same crops or others.

And, water could also be saved for drinking. Pressure controlled drip irrigation systems are now available, he said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:40:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/adopt-drip-irrigation-to-save-water-says-horticulture-dept/article30153449.ece

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