Micro Irrigation is a technology that is aggressively promoted in India to resolve the irrigation challenges in farming. This scheme was launched by the central government which provides different kinds of financial, institutional and technical support systems to the Indian farmers. Equipment adhering to (BIS Standards) are only eligible for financial assistance under this scheme.
This technology is promoted primarily for one or more reasons:
- To save water in irrigated agriculture
- To make strategy to increase income and reduce poverty
- To enhance the food and nutritional security of rural households
Micro Irrigation includes drip and sprinkler irrigation. It is a proven technology which has gained immense popularity amongst the farmers in India. Strengths of this technology include – efficient deployment of inputs such as water, electricity, fertilizers, labour etc, increase in crop productivity, better quality of produce leading to higher realization of sale price resulting in increased income of farmer and prosperity. With this technology, additional area can be irrigated with the same amount of water compared to conventional method of irrigation.
Despite these reasons, the micro irrigation helps the farmers to consume water in a proper way and save it. PMKSY has an end to end approach for development of irrigation chain from creation of water resources to field application of water in an integrated manner. It has some salient features which you should know about, such as:
- Scheme is applicable in all states and all districts in the country. Support to each farmer is restricted to 5 ha per beneficiary. Assistance on the same land can be availed again only after a period of 7 years.
- All horticultural and agricultural crops are covered under this scheme. At least 25% of the funds allocated to the State under the scheme are to be used necessarily for agricultural crops.
- At least 50% of the allocation to state is to be utilized for small and marginal farmers, of which at least 30% has to be women beneficiaries/farmers.
- Financial assistance is available up to 55% for Small & marginal farmers and 45% for other farmers for adoption of Micro Irrigation system. The funding pattern between Central Govt. share and State Govt. share since November 2015 has been 60:40 for all states except North Eastern & Himalayan States. For North Eastern & Himalayan States the funding pattern is 90:10.
- Under Operational Guidelines of the scheme, indicative/average/ normative cost has been laid down for various crops/lateral spacing and different micro irrigation systems for the purpose of calculating financial assistance. Twenty five (25%) higher cost, over & above the normative cost for all systems has been fixed for North Eastern & Himalayan states for this purpose and 15% for low penetration .