Manual on Micro Irrigation for Capacity Building and Development for Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Action sites
Agricultural research and development has traditionally focused on meeting the challenge of feeding the increasing population through the development of appropriate technologies and their support services for better adoption by the farming community. Central to this agenda is the need to increase agricultural production through the development of appropriate skills for better adoption for improving farm yield and income. Subsequently, newer challenges to agricultural research and development have emerged, such as: a) promoting more equitable distribution of benefits resulting from significant improvements in agricultural production; b) sustaining productivity gains through better management of natural resources; c) shifting the focus of research and development interventions to less favorable environments and lowinput agricultural systems; d) strengthening the capacity of local farming communities to continuously learn and experiment ways of improving their agricultural production and livelihood opportunities; e)building better governance mechanisms for sustainable agricultural development. In seeking to address these emerging challenges, among other things, technology development and transfers are important. However, the existing transfer-of-technology paradigm has proven inadequate for managing more complex second-generation issues such as: diverse biophysical environments, multiple livelihood goals, rapid changes in local and national policies, expanded range of stakeholders over agriculture and natural resources, and drastic decline in resource investment in agriculture sector. Keeping this in mind, it is considered important to develop needed based farmers guide for technology adoption by identifying the local specific issues relating to technology development and their better adoption. In this context, the present manual aims to highlight the key parameters of change in key technologies such as micro irrigation awareness, adoption and maintenance by the farming community. The manual brings out the crop production details for important crops cultivated in the state, irrigation and fertigation schedules under micro irrigation (drip and sprinkler) and the key questions and the answers to enhance the farmers’ knowledge base on micro irrigation adoption and development. Micro irrigation adoption is increasing in the country steadily. Though there is considerable area under different micro irrigation systems for different crops, yet based on field surveys it is evident that the farmers use more water and fertilizer than required through micro irrigation. The reason for the excess usage of these inputs is that the farmers do not have the knowledge and exact data on these. Further, the irrigation and fertigation scheduling depends upon the crop, variety, geometry, local evaporative demand, micro irrigation system design crop growth stage, nutrient uptake pattern etc.