More Crop- Per Drop is look like a slogan but it is true in the ear of scarcity of the water. It is also possible to sprinkle the water with drip irrigation and micro irrigation.
South India is more considerate about the factual position and the availability of the subsidies on these schemes.
Drip irrigation systems makers and farmers have welcomed the focus on the micro irrigation system as it is of obvious benefit in enhancing water use efficiency and productivity.
Small and marginal farmers get 100 percent subsidy and the other farmers 75 percent for micro irrigation. The subsidy is shared 60-40 between the Centre and the State Government.
To ensure transparency in the subsidy scheme the government has launched a micro irrigation management information system since last year. Farmers can register themselves online through the facility created by the Department of Horticulture and Plantation Crops and this can be monitored up to subsidy release.
The Tamil Nadu Government plans to bring under drip irrigation 3.57 lakh acres in 2018-19 at a financial outlay of ₹982.18 crore, according to the policy note for the year. The official figures for 2017-18 peg the acreage at 3.01 lakh at a total financial outlay of ₹692.26 crore.
Between 2011-12 and 2016-17 the State brought in over 4.72 lakh acres under micro irrigation at a financial expenditure of ₹1,170.88 crore benefitting 2.05 lakh farmers including 1.52 lakh small and marginal farmers.
However, they are hoping that a few more measures are implemented to expedite the area coverage. As of now GST is included in the subsidy for small and marginal farmers. But the other farmers have to shell out the 12 percent tax. They hope that the benefit is extended to all the farmers.
The State Government has to consider setting up large integrated micro irrigation projects along the lines planned in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Here several hundred acres of micro irrigation systems are created as part of irrigation infrastructure.
Andhra Pradesh Government has launched a 1,000-acre project with two major drip irrigation manufacturers handling 500 acres each. Karnataka also has a similar project that it is implementing, according to industry sources.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi