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Plan to boost micro-irrigation network in State

By Sivasish Thakur

GUWAHATI, Nov 17 � In view of the State�s agriculture being largely rain-fed with small land holdings, the State Government is planning to boost micro-irrigation by extending the network of shallow tubewells (STWs) and low-lift pumps (LLPs).

Micro irrigation through STWs and LLPs is considered effective, as it has high water use efficiency that allows water to be applied to crops at regular intervals as per plant requirement.

According to a Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) report, the State has ground water potential for installation of more than five lakh additional STWs to add to the existing 2.9 lakh tubewells. As of now, crop irrigation extends to a meagre 23 per cent of the State�s net agricultural land of 28.10 lakh hectare.

Stressing the need for augmentation of existing crop irrigation to cover the remaining 77 per cent cropland for a balanced production of different types of crops, sources in the Agriculture Department said that while there had been a substantial increase in the installation of subsidized STWs in last three years, the State would need more Central assistance to meet the total requirement.

Over 1.25 lakh STWs were installed in the State in the last three years which provided 2.51 lakh hectares of cropland with assured means of irrigation but the objective of optimum utilization of potential ground water in cropland is yet to be realized.

Agriculture Minister Nilomoni Sen Deka also recently moved the Centre to help augment the micro-irrigation system in a bigger way.

Sources said that apart from micro-irrigation, adoption of effective soil and water conservation measures was also a part of the strategy to improve rain-fed areas. �This is regarded as particularly essential also for effective mitigation of the challenges posed by climatic changes,� sources said.

Sources said that as the fragmented pattern of land holding had been a constraint in bringing the entire farming community under high volume mechanization, the department was adopting a two-pronged strategy. The first part consisted of providing assistance for increased use of small to medium-sized machineries like power tiller, transplanter, STW, LLP, power sprayer, motorlzed/diesel engine-driven thresher, etc., to marginal and small farmers.

The second part aimed at providing assistance for high-volume machineries to agro-service centres, growers� groups and big farmers by assisting them to procure tractors, rotavators, seed drillers, transplanters, harvesters and post-harvest processors like dryers, grading machines, etc.

Assam incidentally accounts for over five per cent post-harvest loss of food grain produces due to the lack of extenuating infrastructures.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

Plan to boost micro-irrigation network in State

GUWAHATI, Nov 17 � In view of the State�s agriculture being largely rain-fed with small land holdings, the State Government is planning to boost micro-irrigation by extending the network of shallow tubewells (STWs) and low-lift pumps (LLPs).

Micro irrigation through STWs and LLPs is considered effective, as it has high water use efficiency that allows water to be applied to crops at regular intervals as per plant requirement.

According to a Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) report, the State has ground water potential for installation of more than five lakh additional STWs to add to the existing 2.9 lakh tubewells. As of now, crop irrigation extends to a meagre 23 per cent of the State�s net agricultural land of 28.10 lakh hectare.

Stressing the need for augmentation of existing crop irrigation to cover the remaining 77 per cent cropland for a balanced production of different types of crops, sources in the Agriculture Department said that while there had been a substantial increase in the installation of subsidized STWs in last three years, the State would need more Central assistance to meet the total requirement.

Over 1.25 lakh STWs were installed in the State in the last three years which provided 2.51 lakh hectares of cropland with assured means of irrigation but the objective of optimum utilization of potential ground water in cropland is yet to be realized.

Agriculture Minister Nilomoni Sen Deka also recently moved the Centre to help augment the micro-irrigation system in a bigger way.

Sources said that apart from micro-irrigation, adoption of effective soil and water conservation measures was also a part of the strategy to improve rain-fed areas. �This is regarded as particularly essential also for effective mitigation of the challenges posed by climatic changes,� sources said.

Sources said that as the fragmented pattern of land holding had been a constraint in bringing the entire farming community under high volume mechanization, the department was adopting a two-pronged strategy. The first part consisted of providing assistance for increased use of small to medium-sized machineries like power tiller, transplanter, STW, LLP, power sprayer, motorlzed/diesel engine-driven thresher, etc., to marginal and small farmers.

The second part aimed at providing assistance for high-volume machineries to agro-service centres, growers� groups and big farmers by assisting them to procure tractors, rotavators, seed drillers, transplanters, harvesters and post-harvest processors like dryers, grading machines, etc.

Assam incidentally accounts for over five per cent post-harvest loss of food grain produces due to the lack of extenuating infrastructures.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)