During the workshop many ways that could be employed to expand the penetration of micro-irrigation in the country were discussed with stakeholders
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GoI, recently, organised a national workshop on Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) to discuss with stakeholders the various approaches that can be used to increase the penetration of micro-irrigation in the country. Participants included representatives from various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, States and UTs, irrigation industries, startups engaged in the water management sector, and farmers' producer organisations..
The event was opened by Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW). He emphasised the use of technologies in programme implementation and a focused approach to increasing micro-irrigation coverage, thereby increasing the overall efficiency and water productivity of agriculture and ensuring food and nutrition security for the country as well as farmer income, particularly in rainfed areas. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), advised all parties to make large-scale efforts to use micro-irrigation in order to reduce the agricultural sector's water footprint.
Franklin L. Khobung, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, detailed the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) Scheme and its current status. It was revealed that the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a centrally sponsored scheme of Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) in all states of the country from 2015-16, with the goal of improving water use efficiency at the farm level through micro-irrigation, specifically drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. From 2015-16 to present, an area of 78 lakh acres has been covered under micro-irrigation, which is approximately 81% greater than the area covered during the pre-PDMC 8 years. The government has been working on enhancing agricultural water production, resulting in more sustainable agriculture and higher farmer incomes.
Five Best Gram Panchayats from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu were recognised at the programme for their efforts in high micro-irrigation adoption and best practices in the water management sector. Furthermore, leading states in micro-irrigation revealed the practices and creative strategies used in their states to increase micro-irrigation coverage and popularity among farmers. Leading specialists from the Ministry of Jal Shakti stressed the need for micro-irrigation in irrigated areas as well as its efficacy in groundwater management and sustenance. The NABARD representative elaborated on the numerous
Khobung also met with stakeholders to discuss the draft amended guidelines for the PDMC Scheme's implementation. During the conversation, he emphasised the importance of many stakeholders in the scheme's successful execution. He stressed the importance of state/UT governments taking steps to streamline the implementation method, as well as the involvement of MI companies in accomplishing the scheme's objectives.