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What is PMKSY?
The PMKSY is an irrigation scheme which aims at improving the water use efficiency at the ground level i.e. “per drop more crop” using drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, precision irrigation, using recycled water from urban and peri-urban areas.
The emphasis is on “decentralized micro planning” – state, district, block, and village level.
The existing schemes of irrigation will be converged under PMKSY.
The government has committed Rs. 50,000 crore for over a period of 5 years for PMKSY. Government is also planning to rope in private organizations to finance the projects under the scheme.
Increasing the land under irrigation improves the productivity, which in turn leads to increased income and greater contribution to economy.
There is hardly 46-47% of irrigated land in the country.
There are states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh etc. where less than 30% area is irrigated.
There are other states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, J&K, and Karnataka etc. where only 30-50% of the area is irrigated.
In the north eastern states, there is plenty of rainfall but in the Rabi season there is no irrigation facility; the water gets flooded and is wasted.
What needs to be done?
The technology and equipment required for efficient irrigation techniques like drip irrigation, precision irrigation, sprinkler irrigation is expensive. Small and medium farmers need subsidy on such equipment.
Under MGNREGA, lot of things can be done like conservation of soil and water, renovation of ponds and tanks, and construction of canals etc. which supplement the efforts to improve irrigation. Several other rural development programs can also be similarly planned in such a way that irrigation improvement efforts are converged.
There is a need for “participatory irrigation management” at panchayat level. States like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have implemented planning and management programs at panchayat level and achieved tremendous success in agriculture and water usage.