Gujarat to spend Rs.400-cr to cover 2.50-lakh ha under micro-irrigation this year, 10-lakh ha next year: Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, Sunday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated Israel’s Netafim Irrigation firm’s second plant at Savli in central Gujarat. The global supplier of drip irrigation system had set up its first plant at the same place in 2001.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Modi said that Gujarat plans to bring 10-lakh hectares of agriculture land under micro-irrigation in the coming year even as 2.50-lakh hectares are projected to be brought under micro-irrigation at a cost of Rs.400-cr this year. At present about 7-lakh hectares of agriculture land in the state is being irrigated with drip irrigation system. The figure earlier was hardly 10,000 hectares.
Mr. Modi gave mantra ‘Per Drop – More Crop’ to farmers to adopt micro irrigation system.
Mr. Modi recalled that during his visit to Israel he was impressed by the country’s unexpected success in the field of water management through a scientific method to overcome the shortage of water for agriculture purposes in its large tracts of semi-arid land. Israel has taught him the worth of water and use of water in agriculture in life.
He said that farmers of Gujarat were initially benefited by application of ‘electricity’ for pumping ‘water. He realized that it is ‘water’ rather than ‘electricity’ which is more vital for farming and Gujarat Government had in a movement of sorts built nearly six lakh structures to check and store rainwater flowing down the countless rivulets and smaller rivers into the sea. The massive campaign resulted in the rise of underground water table by three to 13 metres depending upon the local soil conditions. Gujarat’s success story in water revolution has been published in Gujarat Government’s Reports.
This Government has adapted a new policy to encourage drip and sprinkler irrigation system in the state, as the farmers reaped bumper crops by allowing drops to percolate down near the roots of the plants, rather than entire field.
Mr.Modi asked particularly small and marginal farmers to take benefit of scientific farming, greenhouse and net-house to make a success of water revolution, thereby enriching the soil fertility.
Earlier, Netafim Irrigation (India) Managing Director Randhir Chauhan and Netafin Board CEO Igal Isenberg gave details of the company’s contribution to provide impetus to farming sector.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Netafim Board Chairman Rudolf Weber and other Members, Israel’s Deputy Envoy to India Yahel Vilan, Gujarat’s Principal Industries Secretary M. Sahu, GSFC Managing Director Atanu Chakraborty, District Collector Vinod Rao and a large number of farmers from different districts.
The Chief Minister presented eight progressive farmers of Gujarat with ‘Netafim Krishiratna’ award on the occasion. They were Messrs Pravin Gajera ofJunagdh for cotton, Girish Patel of Sabarkantha for potato, Chandrakant Patel of Anand for banana, Vanrajsingh Badola of Bharuch for sugarcane, Vijay Patel of Gandhinagar for rose, Gopal Patel of Vadodara for high-tech farming, Jitesh Patel of Sabarkantha and Karsan Rathwa of Vadodara for precision farming.