Drought pushes up demand for drip, sprinkler irrigation

A farmer attends to the drip irrigation set up for turmeric plants , at Ankapur village in Nizamabad district.– Photo: K.V. RAMANA  

Continuous drought and fast depletion of ground water level have forced farmers to go in for drip and sprinkler irrigation, increasing unusual demand for both the units in the district. Though the Government had encouraged them with repeated appeals to choose lesser water consuming methods to reduce pressure on canal irrigation and also the ground water, in practice it is unable to meet the demand as of now.

With the lack of focus on the promotion of drip irrigation in the last two to three years, a number of applications got piled up creating a “headache” for authorities to dispose them of . For a target of covering 10,000 hectares under drip irrigation, about 8,500 applications arrived, of which units covering 2,490 hectares were sanctioned, according to N. Sunanda, Deputy Director, Horticulture.

Under sprinkler irrigation for the year 2014-15, the target given was for 480 hectare, and in addition to 200 hectares for the following year, the target has gone up to 680 hectares. The demand has increased unusually as the recurring failure of monsoon have left farmers with no option but to depend on either drip or sprinkler methods, said she.

Priority for SC, ST farmers

The schemes are also attractive as they offer 100 per cent subsidy to SC and ST farmers, 90 per cent subsidy for BC farmers and 80 per cent for OC farmers. “With the increasing demand for the schemes, the Collector asked us to give top priority to SC, ST farmers. The rest of the applications would be disposed of on first-come-first-serves basis,” said Dr. Sunanda.

“In view of the response from the farming community, I have written letters to the Principal Secretary and the Government for sanctioning more units,” she added.

On other hand, all applications that came from farmers of Ankapur village are being considered as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, during his visit to the village in August last, promised to give them 100 per cent sanctions.

Thus, a special G.O. was issued exclusively for them for the scheme.

Putting up a beaming face, a progressive farmer K.K. Bojanna of Ankapur village told The Hindu that over 400 farmers from his village applied for drip units and the process has now begun for the same.

Some farmers who set up drip units at their own expense earlier have been using them in turmeric plantations.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 4:02:45 AM |

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