Though tensiometer, a low-cost and simple equipment to know the irrigation needs of field to make judicious use of water, has found few takers, the laser leveller, which costs about 3.5 lakh, has brought a revolution to the field of agriculture by way of saving precious water, which earlier used to go waste due to uneven land, particularly in the paddy season.
Owing to its usefulness, laser leveller has gained so much popularity that almost all farmers in the area have got their land levelled during the last few years.
“The laser leveller has been very helpful in saving water and it has even minimised the crop loss.
As per a rough estimate, it helps save about 20-30% water because after levelling of fields, far mers only need to irrigate fields lightly, while in case of unlevelled fields flood irrigation is required,” said Bhupesh Joshi, assistant director, ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency), Faridkot.
“Irrigation on some of the higher patches of land remains shallower while the lower patches get plenty of water, which keep standing for days, leading to the crop loss in either of the two possibilities,” Joshi added.
“The laser land leveller has brought a revolution in saving water, which is a very precious commodity and as sub-soil water table is declining. It is one of the most important equipment in the field of agriculture. It has found so much favour among far mers that we did not have to make ef forts to encourage them to adopt this equipment unlike many other techniques,” said Harcharan Singh, assistant agriculture engineer, Faridkot.
The laser leveller costs anywhere from 3.25 lakh to 3.5 lakh depending upon the model and the government is providing about 1.5 lakh subsidy on it.
The farmers are required to get the laser levelling done on alternative years or even after the two-year gap.
“The technology has changed agriculture scenario in the state, as earlier, the land was levelled using simple levellers, controlled by the tractor drivers and levelling the entire field was impossible. We wasted more water because paddy fields required frequent irrigation but now after getting the fields levelled with laser leveller, one can easily grow all kinds of crops with small quantity of irrigation water,” said Chamkaur Singh, a farmer from Bir Sikhan Wala village.
The laser leveller has also provided employment to many farmers who are engaged in the work giving their tractors and laser levellers on hire. About 500 to 600 are charged for one hour’s work and levelling 1 acre of land costs about 1,000 to 1,200, say farmers.