How and to what extent would micro-irrigation help in solving India’s water crisis ? UPSC 2021, 10 Marks

Q4. भारत के जल संकट के समाधान मेंसूक्ष्मसिंचाई कैसे और किस सीमा तक सहायक होगी ? (150 शब्दों में उत्तर दीजिए)
Q4. How and to what extent would micro-irrigation help in solving India’s water crisis ? (Answer in 150 words) 10


Water is a limited natural resource and a critical requirement in agriculture. A major difficulty is making optimum use of available water for irrigation. Micro-irrigation, for example, is an important technological advancement in water resource management. Despite various advantages and universal recognition of micro-irrigation’s vital role in the long-term viability of Indian agriculture, the industry that provides the necessary resources is currently fighting to stay afloat. Despite its importance, price limits and bureaucratic delays in scheme enrolment, lack of field evaluations, and delays in subsidy reimbursement, among other things, have brought this industry to the edge of collapse.

Water Availability & Micro-Irrigation in India

Declining Water Availability: In 2011, India became the first country in the world to be declared water-scarce. Water availability per capita in India is projected to be 1,430 kilolitres per year. Water deficiency is defined as a country with yearly water availability of less than 1,700 kilolitres per person. Among the G-20 economies, it has one of the fastest diminishing water pools.

Micro-irrigation: It is a modern irrigation technology in which water is watered on the surface or subsurface of the land using drippers, sprinklers, foggers, and other emitters. The most prevalent micro-irrigation methods are sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation.

Importance of Micro-irrigation

  • Micro-irrigation can increase water efficiency by 50-90 percent.
  • In compared to flood irrigation, water savings range from 30 to 50 percent, with an average of 32.3 percent.
  • The amount of electricity consumed decreases significantly.
  • The use of micro-irrigation saves money on fertilisers.
  • Fruit and vegetable productivity has increased on average.
  • It leads to an increase in the income of farmers as a whole.

Way Forward

  • Setting a timeframe for each stage, from a farmer’s application to execution and cash disbursement, as well as bolstering the government’s monitoring mechanism by requiring a quarterly assessment of applications, approvals, work orders, and actual installations.
  • Direct benefit transfers for micro-irrigation subsidy amounts that go directly into farmers’ bank accounts.
  • Farmers should also be able to take advantage of such support schemes based on their crop cycles or planting patterns.


Precision farming will usher in the next agricultural revolution. Micro-irrigation can, in fact, serve as a stepping stone toward making farming more sustainable, profitable, and productive. However, achieving “per drop more crop” requires the deployment of innovative and efficient irrigation technologies, which can only be created in a healthy economic climate free of delays, secrecy, and red tape.

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