The central government of India had realized for quite some time, that India’s future food security is dependent on the stability and the sustainability of its smallholder farmers. India’s population, 1.2 billion now, is estimated to grow to 1.6 billion in 30 years, and the demand for food is expected to grow from 270 metric tons to 450 metric tons. More food has to be grown in order to feed the growing population but resources are limited. Land allocated to agriculture cannot increase and with 90% of freshwater already used by the agriculture sector, the availability and amount of freshwater are also maxed out. How do you cope with a growing population and their demand for food with limited resources to grow that food?
The government understood that improving water use efficiency and reducing the cost of irrigation in the agricultural sector is critical for the country's future food security. In 2014, it introduced two concepts: “Water to all Fields,” and “Per Drop More Crop.” With only 58% of Indian agricultural land being irrigated, the ambitious plan was to invest in the infrastructure to deliver water to every farmer.
Irrigation in India was usually done through traditional methods of canal networks and flooding. Using these methods, about 60% of the water is lost due to conveyance, evaporation, percolation, and seepage. The government understood that improving irrigation infrastructure is critical but upgrading the canals and building new canal structures was an expensive, complicated, and time-consuming process that in some cases, takes more than 10 years to complete.
That’s where we came into the picture.
“When we don’t have rain for long periods of time, drip irrigation helps me continue farming normally and grow more crops.”
“With drip irrigation, my crops get the water they need and I manage to save water and cover a larger area”