With the awareness level increasing about the depletion of groundwater level, farmers have become more sensitive to save natural resources as more and more of them are opting for drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation saves up to 50% water as compared to sprinklers and even more as compared to traditional form of irrigation. It also helps increase the yield and lower the consumption of fertilisers.
The central and state governments have been giving subsidies to promote drip irrigation to save natural resources. As many as 967 farmers in the district have opted for drip irrigation since 2005-06, when the subsidy scheme was launched.
The government gives nearly 50% subsidy to farmers on drip irrigation. Under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund scheme, 25% on crop yield is given separately, financed by NABARD. This way, a total of 75% subsidy is given on adopting this scheme.
Besides, the government has given instructions to the power corporation to provide out-of-turn electricity connection to farmers who have opted for drip irrigation.
"Initially, there were some difficulties in making farmers aware. Now, it has become popular among farmers in the state. In Patiala, Rs 9.55 crore has been spent in the past six years on the Drip Micro Irrigation Scheme and the department has given a subsidy of Rs 3.55 crore under this," said Bhajan Lal, soil conservation officer.
"This system of irrigation is more economical and also useful for all crops, including fruit and vegetables, except paddy plantation. It consumes less water, proving helpful in checking the depleting water table. It consumes less fertiliser, labour and power and gives more and high-quality yield to the farmers," said Jagwinder Singh, a farmer. He said that with use of this system his productivity on vegetable fields had increased by 30%.
Year Amount disbursed Beneficiary
2007-08 Rs 25 lakh 75
2008-09 Rs 84 lakh 69
2009-10 Rs 160 lakh 135
2010-11 Rs 210 lakh 237
2011-12 Rs 273 lakh 189
2012-13 Rs 204 lakh 262