India Region

Per Drop More Crop: Area under micro-irrigation in India reaches 78 lakh hectares

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01 June 2023, New Delhi: A National Workshop on “Per Drop More Crop (PDMC)” was organized by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India yesterday to discuss with the stakeholders the various approaches which can be adopted for increasing penetration of micro irrigation in the country. Participants from various Ministries/ Department of Central Government, States and UTs, Irrigation Industries, Startups working in the water management sector, and Farmer Producer Organisations were present at the event.

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) inaugurated the event. He emphasized on adoption of technologies in the implementation of the programs and focused approach on enhancing micro-irrigation coverage and thereby increasing overall efficiency and water productivity of agriculture for ensuring the food and nutrition security of the country and incomes of the farmers, particularly in rainfed areas. Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) also addressed the inaugural session. He urged all participants to make efforts for the adoption of micro-irrigation on a large scale for reducing the water footprint of the agriculture sector.

Franklin L Khobung, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare explained in detail the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) Scheme and the progress made so far. It was informed that the Department of Agriculture, Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) from 2015-16 in all the States of the country which focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at the farm level through Micro Irrigation viz. Drip and Sprinkler irrigation systems. An area of 78 lakh ha has been covered under Micro Irrigation from 2015-16 to till date which is about 81% more than the area covered during pre-PDMC 8 years.

The Government has been focusing on increasing water productivity in agriculture and thereby sustainable agriculture and incomes of farmers. A Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with a corpus of Rs. 5000 Crore has been created with NABARD during 2018-19 with a major objective to facilitate the States in mobilizing the resources to provide top-up/additional incentives to farmers for incentivizing micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under Per Drop More Crop as well as innovative integrated projects including projects in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for expanding Micro-irrigation. A Budget announcement has been made to double the initial corpus of the Micro Irrigation Fund under NABARD, by augmenting it by another Rs. 5,000 crores.

During the program, five Best Gram Panchayats from the State of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu were recognized for their efforts in high micro-irrigation adoption and best practices in the water management sector. Besides, leading States in micro-irrigation shared the practices and innovative methods being followed in their States for enhancing micro-irrigation coverage and their popularity among farmers. Leading experts from the Ministry of Jal Shakti flagged the need and strategies to cover micro-irrigation in irrigated commands as well as emphasized its effectiveness in Ground Water management and sustenance. The representative from NABARD elaborated on various financing options available for expanding micro-irrigation in the country. Micro Irrigation industry members expressed their active support for the efforts being made by the Government in this national priority program.

Franklin L Khobung, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare also held a discussion with stakeholders on the draft revised guidelines for implementation of the PDMC Scheme. During the discussion, he highlighted the role of different stakeholders in the successful implementation of the scheme. He emphasized the need of taking steps by State/UT Govts. in streamlining the implementation procedure and also on the role of MI industries in achieving the objectives of the scheme.

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