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Accelerating Indian agricultural growth: Micro irrigation

Agriculture accounts for approximately 70 percent of the global freshwater withdrawals and approximately 90 percent of its consumptive use. Of all the economic sectors, agriculture is the one where water scarcity has greatest relevance.  With the need to increase productivity while saving water, micro irrigation will play a key role for the future of Indian agriculture.

Recognising the importance of water as a critical input to agriculture, Government of India has taken many initiatives to promote the concept of water use efficiency and realising the goal of “per drop more crop”. Also, the Government has launched schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY), launched in 2015, integrating micro irrigation in the flagship scheme as an integral component.

Micro irrigation presents a quick-win opportunity for all the stakeholders where the implementation can be seen on ground within months. Hence, developing infrastructure takes years while bringing area under micro irrigation is a task that only requires a few months. Our report provides an insight into the challenges faced by the successive governments against their various initiatives and analyses the reasons for the low penetration of merely 8% of the total potential.