- Agriculture forms the mainstay of the Indian economy, with innovation the need of the hour to grow it further
- Micro irrigation is important, but its coverage in India is miniscule and does not cover more than 5.5% of the entire cultivable area of the country
- Technological innovations can be disruptive for Indian agriculture. The sector should focus on piloting high-level technologies that can then be upscaled into large-scale projects
Agriculture forms the mainstay of the Indian economy, with more than 50% of the country’s population dependent on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihoods. Agriculture and allied sectors together contribute to about 17% to the country’s gross value added (GVA).
However, despite the increasing reforms in the agriculture sector that have led to an overall transition over the years, certain challenges continue to exist, hampering overall growth. As one of the solutions to India’s agricultural peculiarities and challenges, micro irrigation and its many innovations can be stated as the need of the hour.
Micro irrigation coverage in India is miniscule and does not cover more than 5.5% of the entire cultivable area of the country. With one of the highest levels of cultivable land in the world, India has mammoth potential for the uptake of micro-irrigation systems to improve both water levels and productivity, thereby increasing the income of farmers. Overall, land covered by micro-irrigation systems in India is growing at a CAGR of 7.97% annually. The average penetration of micro irrigation at the all India level is 5.5%, which is lower compared to countries like Israel, the US and China.
There are issues and challenges that need to be resolved before setting successful examples. Technological innovations worldwide can be disruptive to the agricultural setup in India. In order to advance on the technological front, the sector should focus on piloting high-level technologies/innovations that can then be upscaled into large-scale projects financed by the Government or the private sector. The private sector should play a greater role in educating farmers and other stakeholders on the pros and cons of micro-irrigation technologies with specific guidance on risks, assessment of risks, project-specific training and hand-holding.
For successful penetration of micro irrigation in India, there is a need to develop holistic solutions with meaningful partnerships involving manufacturers, technology providers, researchers and financing agencies to collectively tackle the unique set of challenges. This whitepaper addresses the innovations ripe for the picking, and the road ahead for the sector. Download your copy today.