Micro Irrigation : The conventional method of Water Conveyance and Application, being highly inefficient, leads not only in wastage of water but also to the problems like water-logging, salinity and soil degradation. In the quest to save water, it has been recognized that use of modern irrigation methods like Micro irrigation methods apply water without much loss can irrigate 1.5 to 3.0 times more area as compared to flooding for the same time. These methods are the best alternative for efficient use of surface as well as ground water resources. Micro Irrigation includes mainly Drip Irrigation and Sprinkler Irrigation.
A) Drip Irrigation system : Drip Irrigation technology involves irrigating root zone through emitters fitted on a lateral tube as well as inserted within the tubing as emitting pipe. The use of different emitters will depend upon specific requirements, which may vary from crop to crop. Types of drip irrigation systems include on-line & in-line drip irrigation systems. Water requirement, age of plant, plant to plant spacing, soil type, water quality and availability etc are some of the factors which decide the choice of emitting system. The unit cost of Drip Irrigation system varies with respect to plant spacing and location of the water source. It is mandatory to use a fertigation device by the farmers such as venturi injector or fertilizer tank.
B) Sprinkler Irrigation : In sprinkler irrigation, water is discharged under pressure in the air through a set of nozzles attached to a network of High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) or Aluminium pipes, simulating the rainfall. Sprinkler irrigation systems are suitable for irrigating crops where the plant density is very high. It is widely used for cereals, pulses, seeds, spices and field crops. The sprinkler irrigation systems may be Micro Sprinklers, Mini Sprinklers, Portable Sprinklers, Large Volume Sprinkler systems (Rain Guns) or Semi-permanent Sprinklers.
Intended Benefits of Micro Irrigation :Technological innovations must be exploited to achieve the twin objectives of higher crop productivity and optimal use of water. Effective utilization of every drop of available water through adoption of latest technology like Micro Irrigation shall not only save valuable water resources but also help in improving crop yields to augment production of agriculture & horticulture crops. This shall also help in boosting the economy of the State and improving the socio-economic conditions of the farmers. Major benefits of adopting Intelligent Irrigation are listed below: