Drip Irrigation: Key to Agricultural Prosperity

Drip Irrigation: Key to Agricultural Prosperity

Mr. Krishanpal Singh Chouhan
Jun 25, 2024
Mr. Krishanpal Singh Chouhan
Jun 25, 2024

India is an agricultural country. Irrigation is the basic requirement of agriculture. A look at the data at the global level reveals that the maximum use of water is in agriculture.

 

On the one side, most parts of the country have a hot climate which leads to excessive evaporation and increased consumption of water while on the other side, there is inequality of rainfall which makes it necessary to develop irrigation facilities, especially in low rainfall areas. Most of the rainfall in the country occurs in a particular season.

Drip irrigation is an advanced irrigation system which ensures the availability of water to the root of ​​the plant at short intervals through specially made plastic pipes. This system of irrigation is beneficial as there is 60 percent less consumption of water as compared to traditional irrigation, increase in productivity by 40 to 50 percent and superior quality of the produce. Drip irrigation is a very popular method of irrigation in countries such as Israel, USA and Spain.

 

Water can be applied with high uniformity through drip irrigation and can prevent runoff and excessive spraying. Drip irrigation is suitable for protective cultivation in greenhouses, shade nets and low tunnels. It provides controlled application of water and nutrients to each plant without wetting the leaves, which is an important feature for high-value crops such as flowers, potted plants and greenhouse vegetables. Saline and poor-quality water can be used more safely through drip irrigation as compared to any other method of irrigation. It is well suited for a variety of row crops ranging from widely-spaced fruit crops to closely-spaced vegetable crops.

Initiatives taken by BAIF

Looking at the problems of water scarcity, irregularity of water, saline water, etc. in Rajasthan, BAIF’s Samadhan project is enabling farmers to practice agriculture through drip irrigation in Udaipur, Chittor, Rajsamand, Bhilwara and Ajmer districts.  As a result, farmers are receiving higher yield and annual income. Farmers are making judicious use of drip irrigation for horticulture, vegetable production and other crop production. In horticulture, plants receive water uniformly through drip irrigation. This method of irrigation makes it very easy to produce vegetables in less water. In this, mulching paper is also used along with drip, which reduces weeds and reduces water evaporation. Hence, drip irrigation reduces weeds, saves water and saves labour in horticulture.

Benefits for farmers

Water saving: In drip irrigation system, water does not flow on the soil surface or through the air. Hence run-off losses are totally eliminated. Due to controlled flow and application of small quantity of water, deep percolation losses are also reduced to a great extent.

 

Improvement in plant growth and crop yield: As this method allows efficient use of small quantity of water repeatedly, it is possible to maintain the water content in the root zone of the soil close to field capacity or within acceptable deficient soil moisture. At this stage, soil moisture stress is low and the plant does not need to exert too much to extract water from the soil. It thus improves plant growth and in the process achieves higher crop yield as compared to other methods.

 

Labour and savings: There is considerable saving of labour, as a well-designed system requires labour only to switch the system – on or off. This method is also suitable for low to high level of automation in the application of water and fertilizer. Hence, expenditure on manual labour can be reduced to a great extent.

 

Energy Saving: Due to high efficiency of irrigation, less quantity of water is required and less time is taken to supply the desired quantity of water.  Thus, this method saves energy.

 

Weed Control: Due to partial wetting of soil in drip method, weed infestation is less as compared to other irrigation methods. This reduces the requirement of expensive and environmentally hazardous chemicals and labour required for application of these chemicals.

 

Increase in Fertilizer Application Efficiency: In drip irrigation system, water soluble fertilizers can be used. Since water can be accurately applied in the root zone, the fertilizer can also be applied in the root zone of the crop itself. Hence, losses of fertilizers in the process of deep percolation, leaching, runoff etc. can be eliminated to a great extent, thereby saving precious fertilizer, causing minimum hazard to the environment and reducing ground water pollution.

 

Zero soil erosion: Since water does not flow on the land surface, there is no soil erosion due to drip irrigation.

 

Minimal disease and pest problems: In drip system, minimum disease and pest problems are observed due to low atmospheric humidity.

 

Thus, Drip Irrigation is the key to agricultural profitability as it ensures returns on investment.

Mr. Krishanpal Singh Chouhan
Project Officer
BAIF Institute of Sustainable Livelihood & Development, Rajasthan

 

Remembering our Founder

Remembering our Founder

Mr. Shrikant Shelke
May 22, 2023

The 103rd Birth Anniversary of our Founder, Dr. Manibhai Desai was observed as a day of fond remembrance, immense admiration, gratitude, pride and inspiration.  While many have had the privilege of working with Dr. Manibhai Desai, there are others who have never met him but have drawn inspiration from his dedication and commitment to Rural Development.

The rich legacy left behind by Dr. Manibhai Desai in the form of an organization which is continuing his noble mission and Gandhian ideals which are responsible for sensitization of every member of the BAIF family to the chronic problems of the rural poor, are the most valuable assets of those associated with BAIF.

Thus, the observance of his birth anniversary across BAIF renewed the devotion of the staff to the organization and determination to continue to contribute to the goals of sustainable development and a clean environment.

Mr.Shrikant Shelke

Associate IT Manager (BAIF)

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CSR Journal Awards received by BAIF MP and BAIF Gujarat

CSR Journal Awards received by BAIF MP and BAIF Gujarat

Feb. 25, 2023

BAIF Madhya Pradesh, is implementing the Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme in partnership with Grasim Industries in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh. BAIF is also implementing the Gramsamruddhi Programme in partnership with NAYARA in Jamnagar and Dev Bhoomi Dwarka districts of Gujarat. These two programmes were announced 1st Runner Up and 2nd Runner Up at The CSR Journal Excellence Awards 2022 in the category of Agriculture and Rural Development. The awards were presented to BAIF and its CSR partners at the hands of Shri. Eknath Shinde, Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra at an award  ceremony held in Mumbai.

Workshop on Circular Economy

Workshop on Circular Economy

 A workshop on “Circular Economy” was jointly organised by BAIF and Environmental Management Centre, Pune on March 13, 2021.  This concept aims at redefining growth while focussing on positive benefits to the society. It rests on the belief that this sort of an economy will reform the management of resources and residues in the interest of economy, livelihoods and the environment.

Workshop on Circular Economy

Celebration of Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has become a special day in the lives of women for more than 3 decades. On this day, women revel in their strength which is the strength of the community and the society at large. This day is celebrated all over the world with enthusiasm and hope. BAIF too has been celebrating this day with various events across all its locations in 12 states.

In view of the forced change in lifestyle of everyone over the last one year, this year’s International Women’s Day was virtually celebrated with a special talk on this important topic. A special talk on “Promoting well-being of women and family during and post Covid-19 pandemic” by Dr. Sukhada Chimote Consultant Psychiatrist and Centre Head, Institute for Psychological Health, Pune was arranged on March 10, 2021 which enlisted a very encouraging response from BAIF staff from across 12 states. The talk concluded with an interactive question and answer session related to the overall well-being of women and their families.

On this occasion, 22 women farmers from 4 clusters of 14 villages in Yavatmal and Amravati districts of Maharashtra were also felicitated for promoting kitchen gardens with organically grown vegetables for nutritional security as well as an additional source of income. These women have truly demonstrated women power as an international power!

This important event was also celebrated in other BAIF locations. In Madhya Pradesh with women champion farmers from Satna, Betul, Mandla, Jhabua, Dindori; in Rajasthan by organising a farmers’ fair with farmers participating from 12 villages; in Jharkhand in Khunti, Dhanbad and Giridih and farmers’ fair at Maithon, Dhanbad; in Odisha in all cattle development clusters and Jal Samrudhhi project apart from celebration of 75 years of Indian independence) by all the clusters; in Karnataka in Rangainkoppalu village, Hunsur, Mysuru district and in Andhra Pradesh in Katamvaripalli, Prakasam district.

Workshop on Circular Economy

New Programme Launch by BAIF

“Mantra (ways, means and solutions), Tantra (technology), Disha (direction) and Gati (speed) are the wheels of planned development apart from participatory and community-led planning and implementation”, stated Mr. Girish G. Sohani, President and Managing Trustee, BAIF Development Research Foundation. “Adoption of these elements for ecosystem and economic well-being, thrust on decentralised employment and enterprise development and considering the village as the unit of development, can further strengthen the rural economy”, Mr. Sohani added.

Mr. Sohani was speaking at the virtual forum of the 2nd Rashtriya Sarpanch Sansad (National Village Heads’ Parliament) organised by the MIT Institute of Governance, Pune, on December 2, 2020. He further emphasised the role of every Sarpanch in consolidating the Seven Pillars of Development namely, Youth Power, Resilience, Sustainability, Green Economy, Enterprise Promotion along with Goal setting and clearly defined Milestones. There is a need to catalyse the process of development, so as to tackle climate change effects, ensure optimum use of renewable resources and promotion of new age enterprises based on renewable energy, ICT, and appropriate technologies such as polyhouses and small holder farm mechanisation. “Development should focus on new age ‘green enterprises’ in rural areas and creation of jobs around such enterprises for rural youth who may be reluctant to engage only in farming”, he further added.

He also highlighted the important role of Sarpanch/Village Heads during these challenging times of COVID and Climate Change-related disruptions and shared the Best Practices demonstrated by BAIF in the form of a cadre of over 5000 self-employed youth and community functionaries such as e-Dosts, rural technicians and service providers. He also assured handholding support from BAIF while planning for village development.

He announced the launch of Samruddha Gram Abhiyan, an ambitious participatory programme with the active involvement of local youth as the vehicle for grassroots development and invited the Sarpanch and Village level catalysts from various villages across the country, to register for this novel programme at https://manibhaiunnatgram.baif.org.in/ “This programme will be based on the learnings of BAIF’s rural livelihood programme and various successful development projects implemented by BAIF and will be implemented through Gram Panchayats, Farmer Producer Organisations and Watershed Development Committees to showcase various interventions which can be introduced with BAIF support at the village level”, he concluded.

Workshop on Circular Economy

Webinar on Ethno Veterinary Practices for treatment of Mastitis in milking cows

BAIF and Sakal Media Group jointly organized an online training programme on “Ethno Veterinary Practices for treatment of Mastitis in milking cows” on December 2, 2020. Dr. A.B. Pande, Group Vice President, Scientific Research and Livestock Development Programmes, highlighted the significance of Ethno Veterinary Medicine for improvement of milk quality while emphasising on the residue free milk – antibiotics and chemical residues. Mr. S.D. Nimbalkar, BAIF, delivered a talk on the use of Ethno Veterinary Practice as an alternate system of medicine for control of Mastitis and shared the BAIF experience in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Dr. Amul Wagh, BAIF Institute for Sustainable Development, Gujarat, briefed about the symptoms, cause and precautions for control of mastitis in cows and the encouraging mastitis cure by use of Ethno Veterinary Medicine at farmers level in Gujarat. 28 participants comprising of veterinarians, youth and farmers attended this programme.

Workshop on Circular Economy

National Webinar on Ethno Veterinary Practices

BAIF in partnership with the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, Government of India, organized an online webinar on “Ethno Veterinary Practices” on October 28, 2020 which was chaired by Dr. Vallabhbhai Kathiria, Chairman, Rashtriya Kamdheny Aayog. The webinar focused on importance of Ethno Veterinary Medicine in Goshala and among livestock keepers in rural India. A talk on “Use of Ethno Veterinary Practice for Mastitis in cows – BAIF experience” was delivered by Mr. Sadashiv D Nimbalkar, BAIF. The other speakers included Prof. Punnaimurthi, TANUVAS, Tamil Nadu, Dr. Balaram Sahu, Odisha and Dr. Bankim Patel, MD. Homoeopath, Bubaneshwar More than 250 participants comprising of Government Officials from Veterinary Department, Veterinary Collages, NGOs and farmers attended the online meeting.

BAIF Foundation Day Celebrated Virtually

BAIF Foundation Day Celebrated Virtually

The BAIF family celebrated their 53rd Foundation Day on August 24, 2020 virtually. In a way, the virtual celebration was very memorable for over 200 BAIF field officers from 12 states who came together to make it a special celebration.

“With women having taken the drivers’ seat, the field programmes are in an expansion mode’ stated Mr. Bharat Kakade, Executive Vice President of BAIF in his opening remarks. The programmes are now benefitting more than 50 lakh families in 12 states. Livestock development programme, the flagship programme of BAIF, has reached out to 44 lakh families, through 4700 AI technicians operating through their cattle development centres across the country and enabling our farmers, mostly marginal and small holders to produce milk worth Rs. 15000 crores. Every year about 10 lakh new progeny of high genetic merit are born at the doorsteps of small farmers. The Central Research Station at Urulikanchan has been producing embryos from its state-of-the-art OPU and IBF laboratory and for the first-time streamlining genome sequencing. Construction of climate smart bridges have been the outcome of the climate change adaptation and mitigation programme,’ Mr. Kakade further added.

Mr. Girish Sohani, President, BAIF, dwelled on the survival mechanisms adopted by BAIF to support farmers and to continue their farming activity and revival of the rural economy against the COVID 19 challenge.

Shri. Hrishikesh Mafatlal, Chairman, BAIF, listed the challenges ahead of BAIF to meet the knowledge, skills and values and to help others in society. He also emphasised on the strong value system of the organisation and its unique technologies, which are helpful to encash new opportunities and to minimise the difficulties. Shri. Kishor Chaukar, Trustee, BAI F, spoke about the need for phenomenal changes in the mind set at BAIF as well as in the society. Technology will be the strong pillar for upliftment of the poor. Shri. Sunil Lalbhai. Trustee, BAIF, highligted the need to be self-reliant and develop insights into the emerging needs of the people at the bottom of the pyramid in the birth centenary of the Founder of BAIF. He defined the five learnings for growth of the organisation which will lead to a continuous learning organisation.

Dr. Ashok Pande, Group Vice President, Scientific Research and Livestock Development, appreciated the role of the field team in strengthening the livestock development programme of BAIF through applied research, input production, genomics, animal nutrition and field research for the benefit of the farmers. Viewers were taken to the world of conventional semen laboratory established in 1975 followed by the world of a sophisticated sorted semen laboratory, and goat semen laboratory established in 2018 at Wagholi through screening of short duration videos as part of the virtual celebration.

Dr. Rajashree Joshi, Chief Thematic Programme Executive, BAIF Programmes, highlighted the feminisation of farming practices and the shift in the role of women who are now change makers and climate smart farmers. These were highlighted through short duration videos. Enterprise promotion through silage development at the farms itself, was highlighted by Mr. V.B. Dyasa, Regional Director, Western Region and Programme Director, BAIF. Digitalisation of programmes through epayment, elearning, mobile based telephony and edost was highlighted by Mr. Ramprasad while new programmes such as LMS and Cloud telephony services were presented by Dr. Alok Juneja with inputs from Ms. Nirali Shah and Ms. Pooja Majgankar with the focus being on replicability of digital initiatives. The Regional Directors of all the four Regions highlighted the growth of BAIF’s programmes in the midst of the pandemic, apart from record sale of 1.3 crore doses of conventional frozen semen, 1.5 lakh doses of sorted semen and 260 tons of mineral mixture. Mr. Shrinivas Kulkarni, Group Vice President, Finance, highlighted the social and financial capital aspects of BAIF with technology becoming central to BAIF’s horizon and the support from corporates becoming the trigger for strengthening rural India. Mr. Sujit Gijare, Group Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, emphasised on the human resource capital which ensured stability inspite of overnight sweeping changes brought about by the pandemic.

Special Lecture by Dr. Raj Paroda at BAIF, Pune

Special Lecture by Dr. Raj Paroda at BAIF, Pune

“Think globally but act locally” was the appeal made by Dr. Raj Paroda, eminent Agricultural Scientist of international repute and former Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Educat ion (DARE) and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi and presently, Chairman of the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.
 
Dr. Paroda, a Padma Bhushan, FICCI and Norman Borlaug recipient, was delivering a Special Lecture on “Indian Agriculture – Present Challenges and Opportunities” at BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune on Friday. “Genetically modified crops, precision farming using sub surface drip, technology capital and strengthening agri-marketing through reforms in APMC, ECA, Cooperative and FPC Acts and improving land management systems by revisiting land laws to check land fragmentation and encourage lease systems for collective/contract farming and promotion of bio fortified crops were some of the technologies identified by Dr. Paroda for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” apart from improvement in our Social Progress Index (SPI) and not just the GDP. He called for scaling up of hybrid technology especially of single cross maize hybrids which has shown fastest growth rate of 4 to 5% among cereals and urged the farming community to increase hybrid coverage (including QPM) from its current 60% to at least 90%. He also quoted the success story of BT cotton whose area of production has reached 11 to 12.0 mha, nearly 95% of the total area in the country, He also advocated the twin pillar strategy of genetic resource management along with natural resource management for sustainable intensification and quoted the Rice Wheat Consortium of National Agricultural Research System (NARS) – Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) partnership programme to be the most successful eco-regional partnerships.
 
Conservation agriculture from the present 5.0 m ha to 10 m ha, biomass burning in India (40 mt of rice straw), managing crop residues through turbo happy seeder, on-farm water use efficiency and the paradigm shift in GM soyabean which is the leading oilseed crop now were also highlighted by him during his lecture. Inspite of achieving Green, White and Blue Revolutions, which changed the status of India from “begging bowl” to that of “self sufficiency”, the country still accounts for around 50% of the world’s malnourished children and has 22% of the people who live below the poverty line, Dr. Paroda lamented. The major challenges now, are household nutritional security, economic access to food, second generation problems of Green Revolution such as factor productivity decline, degradation of natural resources, especially land and water, increased incidence of pests and diseases and higher cost of inputs apart from the adverse effect of global climate change, he added. India, despite all its efforts to check its population (presently 1.3 billion), has added almost 15 million people (equivalent to one Australia) each year, thus nullifying the impact of agricultural advances. The SDGs are thus both an opportunity and a future vision for India, he stated.
 
Earlier, Dr. Paroda visited the BAIF Central Research Station at Urulikanchan and appreciated the adoption of cutting edge technologies such as livestock genomics, sexed-sorted semen technology, evaluation of jatropha genotypes, Adaptability Studies on Cactus / Mini-Apple and Aeroponics, Azolla, Aromatic Crops and Soil Health initiatives, apart from the involvement of women as change makers in agriculture. Shri. Uday D. Shirsalkar, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Maharashtra Regional Office, Pune, in his concluding remarks, highlighted land consolidation, capital formation, agricultural marketing and marketing reform and IOT in agriculture, value chain development and engagement of local youth who stay back in the villages and try farming, as some of the opp ortunities in Indian agriculture to overcome the challenges of fragmented land holding, shrinking of average land holding, lack of mechanization, higher consumption of pesticide in Maharashtra and inadequate storage facilities. Dr. Ashok B. Pande, Group Vice President, Livestock Development, BAIF, proposed the vote of thanks.
BAIF Foundation Day Celebrated

BAIF Foundation Day Celebrated

The 52nd Foundation Day and Annual Award ceremony of BAIF was celebrated on August 24, 2019 at BAIF’s Central Research Station, Urulikanchan. “Neer, Nari and Nadi”, are the basic components of a balanced eco system. Only when science i s used with sense, will community wisdom be recognised”, stated Dr. Rajendra Singh, Chairman, Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar, Rajasthan. Solar energy needs to be used effectively for water conservation and Mother Earth nurtured through sustainable watershed management, climate change adaptation and mitigation methodologies and by guiding the community towards a river- based approach.

“Hydraulic drought, a serious effect of climate change, is changing the production pattern of food and fruit crops with apple orchards being the worst a f f e c t e d w i t h s e v e r e destruction of apple crops, while frequent droughts with atleast 2-3 in quick successions have direct impact on the lives of vulnerable families”, stated Mr. Bharat Kakade, Executive Vice President of BAIF. While BAIF has shifted to climate proofing measures such as desert development in Rajasthan and water conservation measures in drought prone Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and climate resilient tree-based farming on dryland, it is necessary to assess which model is suitable for the community. Chemical- free farming has also been initiated on a pilot scale with the introduction of Integrated Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture (IRESA) and Phosphate Rich Organic Manure.

Suman Self Help Group, a tribal group from Baretha village of Betul district, Madhya Pradesh, was awarded “Dr. Manibhai Desai Gaurav Puraskar 2019 and Smt. Vijayatai Deshmukh Gaurav Puraskar” for Best Self Help Group in BAIF Programme for its efforts to enhance village hygiene and sanitation through construction of 45 toilets under Water, Sanitation and Hygiene ( WA S H) Programme and Swachh Bharat Programme, use of waste water to establish kitchen gardens for intake of nutritious vegetables, p r a c t i c i n g o r g a n i c farming to reduce risk of chemical hazards and adoption of smokeless chulhas to reduce health and environmental hazards.

Bajrang Women’s Group from Dixal village, Kaprada, South Gujarat won the “Dr. Manibhai Desai Gaurav Puraskar 2019” for Second Best Self Help Group in BAIF Programme. The group launched a campaign for prohibition of alcohol in the village while establishing a grievance platform for marital disputes.

Sidheshwar Women’s Group from Shirapur village, Parner, Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, was the recipient of “Dr. Manibhai Desai Gaurav Puraskar 2019” for Best Self Help Group in Maharashtra Programme. The group initiated Custom Hiring Centre through BAIF from 2017 and so far, they have earned more than Rs. 85,000 with 149 farmers from different villages availing hiring service of various farm implements. They have also p r o v i d e d a g r i c u l t u r a l i m p l e m e n t s t o n e e d y farmers free of charge.

Smt . Kempamani , Guddenahalli village , Holenarasipura, District Hassan, Karnataka was Best Dairy Farmer; Smt. Lalita Baraskar, Banspur village, Ghodadongri, District Betul, Madhya Pradesh was Best Agriculture Farmer; Smt. Nilu Devi, Sarobag, Dharhara, Munger, Bihar was the Best Farmer from Non-Potential Area; Shyam Sunder, Cattle Development Centre at Atai, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, was the Best Cattle Development Centre In-charge; Manoj Wakode, Cattle Development Centre at Wari , Kopargaon , Ahmednagar, Maharashtra was Best AI Technician from Multi-Activity Centre; Anil Kumar Mishra, Cattle Deve lopment Centre at Chandanbhati, Bolangir district of Odisha for Best AI Technician from Non-Potential Area. Prizes were a l so g i ven to meritorious students and for the best scientific paper and case study. The BAIF Annual Report, Research Report and a book on Mahua Recipes were also released on this occasion.

The BAIF Shri. Uday Shirsalkar, C G M , NABARD, Maharashtra Regional Office, Pune, complimented the women fraternity who were felicitated for their work and for their confidence to share their experience. Ms. Ritu Nathani, Director, Cybage Software Pvt. Ltd. and Head – Cybage CSR, Pune, appreciated the women for establishing their identity through their empowerment. Others who spoke on the occasion were Dr. Anand Sardeshmukh, former Director General, MCCI and Shri. Sunil Lalbhai, Trustee, BAIF. Earlier, Dr. Ashok B. Pande, Group Vice President, BAIF, welcomed the women groups. Dr. Jayant R. Khadse, Research Director, BAIF, proposed the vote of thanks.