Drip Fertigation enhance crop yield and farmers prosperity : Lesson from Tarikere Community Drip Irrigation Phase II
Tarikere Drip Irrigation Project Phase II farmers, using drip fertigation has witnessed enhanced water productivity and fertilizer use efficiencies. The technology led to significantly enhanced water productivity of 90 per cent, fertilizer use efficiency by 30 to 40 per cent while considerably decreased crop evapotranspiration by 9 -10 per cent, compared to farmers’ practicing traditional irrigation by furrow or flood and fertilization by broadcasting. The technology also helps optimum moisture distribution for the crop to absorb nutrients.
The technology uses plastic tubing to drip water and fertilizer at the base of plants in a regulated way and, thus, attain a high yield of almost 50 to 60 per cent. The win-win agriculture practice with less quantity of water and judicious use of fertilizer input has helped nearly 49% of the farmers with a cumulative 5100 Ha of the land to increase crop yield by 50 per cent. As of date, the company has installed a drip system in 5500 hectares of Tarikere Drip Community Irrigation Phase II.
Mr Kumar, son of Jayamma from village Kallapura witnessed a 30-35 per cent higher yield (5.5 tons per acre) of Gherkin, whereas, without drip fertigation, he could grow only 4 tons/acre. Another farmer Mr Parappa from village Kallapura, has grown 14 tons / 0.5 acre of tomato with drip fertigation. Earlier, he used to yield only 10 tons /0.5 acre. Mr Ramesh from Garagadahalli village has grown 25 tons/ha watermelon with drip fertigation, 30 per cent more than the earlier crop yield.
Commenting on the rationale of drip fertigation Mr Umesh, Sr. Manager of Agronomy, Netafim India said, “Improving irrigation and fertilization management for greater productivity is critical to address water scarcity. Drip fertigation can synchronize the water and fertilizer supply with crop demand, thus, offering the potential to increase productivity sustainably. The technology meets the nutrient demand of crops near the root zone and helps farmers save 15-25% on fertilizers as well as crop production costs. As compared to surface irrigation, drip fertigation greatly contributes to agricultural emissions, improves crop root growth, nutrient uptake, and controls Soil Salinization”.
The ongoing project, once completed, will cover 13594 Ha of land, 42 villages and nearly 26,000 farmers. Predominantly the farmers associated with the project are growing vegetables, fruits, flowers and arecanuts. The project is likely to get completed by July 2023.