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Advantages and Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation
Drip Irrigation is a kind of micro irrigation system that saves water but at the same time ensures that water reaches the roots of the plants. It works to drip slowly. Drip Irrigation can work from both above or under the surface of the soil. It works effectively to ensure that all your plants get what they need.
Advantages of Drip Irrigation System
Due to improper water supply, fertilizers and nutrients cannot reach the roots of every plant. Drip Irrigation system helps it to reach effectively.
If you want to gain efficiency in water application, then installing the Drip Irrigation system is a must.
Field leveling is done by installing this type of irrigation system. When your field is evenly leveled you can plant properly.
Whatever your field capacity is, they need moisture. Roots should be hydrated.
Soil erosion and weed growth are reduced.
Water distribution can be controlled. According to the necessity, water is produced to every root.
You do not any helping hand to water your plants anymore. So Drip Irrigation also confirms zero labor cost.
It is a low-cost process that can also be done in low water pressure.
Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation System
The installation process needs time. Sometimes may need court approval in some lands.
Sun heat affects tubes, sometimes they get broken for excessive heat production.
Plastic tubes affect soils fertility. Sun degrades plastic sometimes and that affect soil and fertilizers too.
Tubes get clogged sometimes. Water cannot pass through and roots get dehydrated.
If Drip Irrigation is not installed properly, then it is a waste of time, water and heat.
Micro-irrigation: The way ahead for sustainable agriculture
India is facing the twin challenge of water scarcity and population explosion. The ongoing water crisis has affected nearly 600 million people and is expected to only worsen: The country's population is touted to increase to 1.6 billion by 2050.
The agriculture sector is the largest consumer of water in India. It accounts for approximately 90 per cent of 761,000 billion litres of annual freshwater withdrawals in the country. Per capita consumption of water in agriculture sector ranges from 4,913 to 5,800 kilolitre per capita per year.
Agriculture may have to face the brunt: Water would be diverted to other sectors and agriculture would have to make its peace with lesser and poorer quality of water.
Climate change too has aggravated water scarcity concerns: It can, through its impact on weather patterns, affect livelihoods and well-being of our farming community.
The impact of climate change is much more evident in Indian agriculture, where around 85 per cent farmers are small and marginal and 60 per cent agriculture is dependent upon the vagaries of monsoon. The role of irrigation, therefore, takes the front seat.
The continued irrigation through traditional practices since the introduction of Green revolution in the 1960's, however, has begun to show its multitudinous ill effects on groundwater quality and height, water logging, soil salinity, soil health, crop productivity, partial factor productivity and cost economics of farm practices.
This is where micro-irrigation assumes significance.
Micro-irrigation gained prevalence when the Parliament was rocked with issue of farmer suicides. Sensing the significance and probable benefits of the process to double the farmers' income along with agricultural sustainability and environmental quality, the Union government launched a comprehensive flagship programme called Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana or “more crop per drop”.
Under the programme, financial assistance of up to 55 per cent is available for small and marginal farmers and 45 per cent for other farmers for adoption of micro-irrigation systems. The funding pattern between the Union governments and the state government's share since November 2015 has been 60:40 for all states except the North East and the Himalayan states, for which the funding pattern is 90:10.
Micro-irrigation can increase yields and decrease water, fertiliser and labour requirements. By applying water directly to the root zone, the practice reduces loss of water through conveyance, run-off, deep percolation and evaporation.
These losses are unavoidable in traditional irrigation practices; micro-irrigation, through its water-saving approach, has paved the way for higher water use efficiency of around 75-95 per cent.
Another resource saving practice possible through micro-irrigation is fertigation, which comprises combining water and fertiliser application through irrigation. Fertigation results in balanced nutrient application, reduced fertiliser requirement of around 7 to 42 per cent (thus, saving expenditure cost incurred by farmer), higher nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency.
It is quite apparent that in the present scenario, vertical expansion of agricultural lands is not possible. Therefore, in order to increase the yield and productivity, we have to focus on degraded and waste lands.
Micro-irrigation provides this opportunity. A national-level survey undertaken for the Union government showed that farmers were able to bring 519.43 hectares of degraded land under cultivation through the technique. It also helped use saline water for irrigation without causing salinity or osmotic stress to plants.