Water saved is water created, there is tremendous scope for improving water use efficiency in the agriculture sector as proper water management will help overcome the water crisis, G Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti & Mission Director, National Water Mission today said.
Addressing a webinar ‘Sahi Fasal – Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture’, organised by FICCI jointly with NWM, Kumar said, “Measures towards creating consumer awareness about the value of water, efficient monitoring and pricing systems and water auditing will help in improving the water use efficiency. Adoption of better irrigation methods like drip irrigation, changing cropping patterns towards relatively less water intensive crops, access to technology for storage of water and efficient pumping systems and increased usage of treated waste water can potentially improve the water use efficiency for the agriculture sector.”
Naina Lal Kidwai, Past President, FICCI; Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Chairman, Advent Private Equity said, “While industry may not be the dominant user of water, but industry needs to take the ownership for ensuring efficient water management. Corporate interventions like innovations to bring water use efficiency for the agricultural water use, increase reuse of waste-water by integrated management of water, soil and waste and sharing of knowledge could improve the existing scenario.”
Mukund Vasudevan Co-Chair, FICCI Water Mission & Managing Director & Country Head, Ecolab India said, “A multi-stakeholder approach involving right kind of pricing, technology intervention, government support and awareness creation about drip irrigation practices could improve water use efficiency for the agriculture sector.”
Dinesh Patidar, Chairman, FICCI Madhya Pradesh State Council & Chairman, Shakti Pumps India said, “Lack of guaranteed power availability has led farmers to choose inefficient water use practices like flood irrigation, however solar water pumping system can reduce the water usage and divert the farmers to drip irrigation practices.”
Raghav Agarwal, Director, Rotomag Motors and Controls said, “An integration of FPOs (farmer producer organisations), SHGs (self-help-groups) and industry could improve the water use efficiency for the agriculture sector. Improved energy efficiency can increase water use efficiency and further improve the food productivity.”
S Vishwanath, Advisor, Biome Environmental Trust said, “Interventions required towards reducing the dependence on groundwater and energy. He emphasised on the need for knowledge sharing as every farmer does not necessarily need subsidy support, but knowledge support on excessive groundwater usage and water efficient practices for the agricultural sector. He also suggested that the policies should be driven from ground practices and needs for effective implementation as against supply driven.