ICAR to encourage less water consuming crops
NEW DELHI: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is encouraging crop diversification with low water consuming crops like pulses, cereals and oilseeds. Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, S.S Ahluwalia informed Rajya Sabha on Friday .
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare is promoting cultivation of pulses and coarse cereals under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and oilseeds under National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) in the country, as these crops need less water.
Crop Diversification Programme is also being implemented in Original Green Revolution States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh to diversify cropping pattern from water guzzling paddy to pulses, oilseeds, maize, and agro-forestry with the objective of tackling the problem of declining soil fertility and depleting water table in these States.
To reduce utilization of water in paddy, water conservation techniques like Direct Seeded Rice (DSR), System of Rice Intensification (SRI), alternate wetting and drying method, laser land levelling, adoption of short duration and drought tolerant varieties, etc are promoted through various crop development programmes like National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI), etc.
In order to enhance water use efficiency in water intensive crops, assistance is given for promotion of water saving tools/technologies like sprinkler and drip irrigation, creation of farm ponds, efficient delivery and distribution systems and adoption of agronomic practices like alternate row/furrow irrigation, mulching, etc. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana also focuses on creating sources for assured irrigation, creating protective irrigation by harnessing rain water at micro level through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’ to ensure ‘Per drop-More crop’.