The application of water should avoid wastage of a valuable resource and be in sympathy with the environment as a whole, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Radha Mohan Singh said while addressing the Expert Panel meeting on International Green Week-2017, on Friday at Berlin, Germany.
Singh said that good seeds and fertilizer fail to achieve their full potential if plants are not optimally watered. “In India, about 86 percent percent is used for agriculture, 6 percent for industries and 8 percent for domestic uses. It was 5,177 cubic meter in 1951 and will reach to 1,341 and 1,140 cubic meter in 2025 and 2050 i.e. near to water scarcity line, respectively,” he added.
The Indian Agriculture Minister said that due to continuous fall in per capita water availability and increasing population of the nation, it becomes necessary to utilize every drop of available water efficiently and to produce more crops from the same available water and land, for providing Food security to growing population.
“It is a big challenge and responsibility on agriculture sector to provide quality and quantity of food to the population with a scarce resource. Increasing water use efficiency is a necessary step to counter the water scarcity issues, where water budgeting has to be done.”
Singh said that currently India and other countries faced major issues related to sustainable management of water and the issues are over exploitation of ground water resources; lack of proper crop alignment; low water use efficiency (WUE); lack of awareness among farmers; improper recycling and reuse of water, and problems related to industries
He informed that to overcome such challenges Government of India have been launched various plans/schemes for sustainable use of water and those are Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) , National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and National Water Mission.
Singh recommended that greater efficiency in irrigation should be pursued vigorously. This can be achieved through proper designing of irrigation system for reducing water conveyance loss. Adoption of water saving technologies such as sprinkler and drip irrigation system have proven extremely effective in not just water conservation but also leading to higher yields with better quality of produce by delivering water in a controlled manner in parts of the plant where it is most efficiently absorbed. He also suggested the concept of multiple use of water must be popularized.
“Emphasis should be given on water resources conservations through watershed development in suitable areas and development of micro-water structures for rainwater harvesting,” he recommended.
The Minister urged to collectively resolve to enhance the access to water, improve water quality, reduce water scarcity risks and manage surplus water.