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Raising Productivity in Irrigated Agriculture . Presented at International Conference on Uncommon Opportunities: Roadmap for Employment, Food & Global Security November 22, 2004 The Mother’s Service Society, Pondicherry. Low Productivity of Indian Agriculture .

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raising productivity in irrigated agriculture

Raising Productivity in Irrigated Agriculture

Presented at International Conference on

Uncommon Opportunities: Roadmap for Employment, Food & Global Security

November 22, 2004

The Mother’s Service Society, Pondicherry

low productivity of indian agriculture
Low Productivity of Indian Agriculture
  • India ranks among the lowest countries in the world on productivity of most major crops.
  • Huge waste of water resources damaging crop productivity, increasing soil salinity and aggravating water shortages -- 80% of India’s water use is for irrigation.
low farm productivity results in
Low farm productivity results in
  • High unit cost of production
  • High priced food
  • Low farm incomes & purchasing power
  • Low labour absorption
  • High water consumption/unit of produce
factors determining crop productivity
Factors Determining Crop Productivity
  • Soil preparation
  • Quality of seed
  • Planting methods & tools
  • Plant nutrition – type, quality & timing
  • Water management
  • Pest management
  • Time & schedule management
advanced agricultural technology att
Advanced Agricultural Technology (ATT)

Adapted appropriately to local conditions can

  • Raise crop productivity by 100 to 200%
  • Raise water use efficiency by 100 to 200%.
enhancing plant nutrition can double yields incomes on all crops
Enhancing plant nutrition can double yields & incomes on all crops.
  • “Every Rs 1 of investment in plant nutrition returns Rs 5 of additional income” Dr C. Lakshmanan, CACS
  • One Tanjore paddy farmer reduced his production cost from Rs 3.50 to Rs 1.50 per kg
balanced soil fertility plant nutrition
Balanced Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition
  • Plants require more than 12 essential nutrients
  • In India, soil is being tested for only three nutrients.
  • Without these 12 nutrients, genetic potential of hybrid seeds cannot be tapped.
  • The same hybrid rice seed generates 2.8 tons per hectare in India, 5.4 tons in China & 8 tons in USA.
  • Methods employed in India for application of fertilizers lead to low absorption, low fertilizer use efficiency, high wastage and high cost.
  • ATT can triple productivity of the same hybrid seed.
soil fertility before treatment
Soil Fertility – before treatment

Optimum Level Required by Plants

soil fertility after nkp treatment
Soil Fertility – after NKP treatment

Optimum Level Required by Plants

comparative tomato yields
Comparative Tomato Yields
  • India aver 8-12 tons per acre
  • California aver 35-40 tons
  • ATT in California 60 tons
  • Achieved in Tamil Nadu 38 tons
brinjal in tn
Brinjal in TN

ATT achieved 17 tons/acre of brinjal in TN compared with TN average of 8 tons. Potential is for 30 tons generating more than Rs 1 lakh/acre profit

red cabbage in tn
Red Cabbage in TN

ATT has achieved 20 tons/acre of cabbage in TN compared with TN average of 12 tons. Potential is for 30 tons generating more than Rs 1 lakh/acre profit.

badji pepper in tn
Badji Pepper in TN

ATT has achieved 14 tons/acre in Tamil Nadu compared with local average of 6 tons. Potential is 20 tons generating more than 1.5 lakhs profit/acre.

okra in tn
Okra in TN

ATT technology has produced 6 tons/acre of Okra in TN compared with state average of 2 tons. Potential is for 10 tons yielding income of Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh/acre.

sugarbeet gives 50 more sugar than cane in the time with only 2 3 rd the water
Sugarbeet gives 50% more sugar than cane in ½ the time with only 2/3rd the water

ATT farmers in CA achieve the highest yields of sugarbeet. Sugarbeet can produce 35-40 tons/acre in TN in 6 months with 15% sugar recover compared to TN average of about 40 tons cane in 12 months with only 10% recovery. Also sugar beet consumes only 40% as much water than sugarcane.

att cotton in ca
ATT Cotton in CA

ATT achieved cotton yields of 2200 lbs/acre in California & 890 lbs in TN compared with state average of 310 lbs.

maize
Maize

Maize yields of 2.8 tons/acre have been achieved in TN with ATT technology compared to TN average of 1.2 tons. ATT potential is for 7.8 tons/acre.

water conservation
Water Conservation
  • 80% of water in India is consumed for agriculture
  • Real problem is wastage, not shortage
  • Water productivity in agriculture is extremely low
  • California farmer produces 35 times more cotton/liter
  • RWH can replenish 10 yrs consumption in one season
  • Furrow irrigation can reduce water consumption 50-70%
  • Deep chiseling can 2x crop yields & ½ water usage
normal indian soil
Normal Indian Soil

Rainwater cannot penetrate deepr or drain, so it floods roots & evaporates rapidly. The flooding prevents plant roots from breathing, which is essential for absorption of nutrients.

6”

Crop

Roots cannot penetrate so plant growth is stunted. Plants are small, weak, needs frequent irrigation & gives low yield.

Hard Pan

deep soil chiseling
Deep Soil Chiseling

Roots sink deep to reach perennial water supply & nutrients. Plant grows large, strong & highly productive.

36”

Crop

Soft Pan

Rainwater stored deep down where it will not easily evaporate & is available to plants for months

tomato with furrows in tn
Tomato with furrows in TN

ATT Tomato consumed 33% of the water

Achieved 217% higher yield (38 tons)

flood irrigation in tn
Flood Irrigation in TN

Flood irrigation methods practiced in TN waste large amounts of water and drown crops resulting in high water consumption & low yields.

furrow irrigation in california
Furrow Irrigation in California
  • Furrow irrigation reduces water consumption by upto 70% while increasing crop yields.
what att can do
What ATT can do
  • Improve land use efficiency
    • Doubling or tripling productivity per unit area can reduce the cost per unit of agricultural produce to enhance farm incomes and promote international competitiveness.
  • Improve fertilizer use efficiency
    • Doubling or tripling farmer incomeby balancing plant nutrients in the soil to optimize plant intake of applied fertilisers, safeguarding the environment and reducing soil degradation.
  • Improve water use efficiency
    • Doubling or tripling water use efficiency and reducing salinization of irrigated lands through land preparation techniques that harvest rainwater on millions of acre while reducing waste of irrigated water.
limitations requirements
Limitations & Requirements
  • Size of land holding
  • Capacity to invest
  • Lack of chiseling equipment
  • Accurate analysis of 13 nutrients
  • Expert knowledge of plant nutritional requirements
  • Farmer knowledge of planting, fertilization & irrigation methods
solutions
Solutions
  • Size: Technology is size neutral
  • Cost:
    • Investment in soil fertility is moderate
    • Can be incremental & return higher income each season
  • Chiseling:
    • Local equipment can be adapted
    • Loans/Incentives for upgrading private farm service centres
  • Soil tests:
    • Establish national network of government-certified private labs
  • Soil test analysis:
    • Develop computerised expert systems with foreign assistance if necessary
solutions 2
Solutions - 2
  • Farmer knowledge: Establish national network for demonstration & training
    • Central training institutes
    • Satellite training institutes
    • Farm Schools
    • Develop multimedia training programmes
    • E-farming -- deliver expert advice & training via rural knowledge centres
  • Reorient Ag Colleges to focus on Production Agriculture
  • Develop certification programme for starting Agri-Clinics
state level project
State Level Project
  • Facilities
    • Central training centre + 11 satellite training centres
    • 12 soil labs & farm service centres
    • 6000 farm schools
  • Income
    • Demonstration farms
    • Agri services
    • Training fees