1. Agriculture World

Scientists from ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute Coimbatore bestowed with National Water Awards-2019

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Scientists from ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute

A group of scientists from ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute has developed Soil Moisture Indicator to assist farmers with proficient water management. The farmers, who are occupied with the production of harvests that demand water, for example, sugarcane barely practice productive water management that is dependent on dampness and moisture status of the soil, as indicated by specialists, repeating the requirement for preservation of water resources. 

The group of scientists from Coimbatore has built up a little, easy to understand gadget named 'Soil Moisture Indicator' (SMI) to assist farmers with productive water system management. 

This gadget, which was created with contributions from farmers and sugar processing plant personnel through the Farmers' Participatory Action Research Project (FPARP) has carried accolades to the Sugarcane Breeding Institute here and the designers of SMI i.e. K Hari, D Puthira Prathap, B Singaravelu, P Murali, and A Rameshsundar. The group because of their efforts has nailed the National Water Awards-2019 for their work on "SMI. 

A monetary cash reward of Rs. 2 lakh and a citation to the groups of scientists is awarded by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. 

Puthira Prathap, Principal Scientist and Co-Inventor of SMI commented that the compact gadget helped sugarcane farmers in evaluating moisture levels of the soil while arranging for irrigation. "We tried under different degrees of soil moisture conditions in farming lands across Dharmapuri, KrishnagiriCuddalore, Erode and Coimbatore; The SMI system helped farmers save around 15 percent of water which sums up to 6 irrigations without negotiating on the yield." 

Electric conductivity versus soil moisture 

The electronic moisture showing gadget was intended to take a shot at an assortment of soil types. "It deals with the rule of electrical conductivity. While soil electrical resistance is by indirectly corresponding to moisture content of the soil, electrical conductivity of the soil is directly relative to moisture content of the soil," the principal inventor of the device, Hari explained. 

"All things considered about the flexibility of the innovation, many ICAR-KVKs i.e. Farm Science Centers had exhibited its utilization in various yields, for example, groundnut, brinjal, bhindi, coconut, banana, paddy, sesame, dark gram, green gram, tomato and mustard other than sugarcane," said Prathap. 

Palaniswamy, a rancher at Thondamuthur, Coimbatore said that he has been utilizing the gadget to survey the moisture substance of the soil in his arecanut and banana fields. 

Researchers said that the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana have incorporated the SMI for buy and dissemination to farmers and different partners under different plans; and twelve firms have been allowed permit for business creation of SMI. 

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