Friday, January 27, 2023
HomeIndiaWater-stressed India could ask its farmers to irrigate less

Water-stressed India could ask its farmers to irrigate less

India is one of the world’s biggest users of ground water and its depleting levels are the main reason for the country’s severe shortages.

Text Size:

New Delhi: India should provide incentives to farmers to adopt efficient water use to avert a looming crisis, according to the Economic Survey presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in parliament.
The South Asian nation should introduce improved irrigation methods, use technologies and change cropping patterns to reduce the use of ground water, of which 89% is extracted for irrigation purposes, the survey said on Thursday.

India is one of the world’s biggest users of ground water and its depleting levels are the main reason for the country’s severe shortages. About 600 million Indians are facing high-to-extreme water stress and the situation is set to worsen as water requirements rise, according to a 2018 report by NITI Aayog, the government’s policy making body. About 75% of the households in the country do not have drinking water, it said.

India is already facing a severe water crisis, with about 60% of the country having received deficient rainfall from June 1-July 4, according to the India Meteorological Department.

One of the key reasons for the shrinking ground water level is the cropping pattern, which is skewed toward crops that use more water. Rice and sugarcane crops together consume more than 60% of water available for irrigation. India also lacks a proper structure on support prices and subsidies to discourage farmers from growing water-intensive crops, the survey said.

The focus should shift from “land productivity” to “irrigation water productivity,” according to the survey.


Also read: All about Telangana’s Kaleshwaram, one of the world’s biggest irrigation projects


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

SourceBloomberg

1 COMMENT

  1. The moment government intervention in agriculture will be better. No freebies subsidies loan waivers. Naturally farmers will farm only in profitable areas where there is water. So the inefficient drought area farmers will have to shift to other jobs.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular