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Day 15 – Q 5.What do you understand by the concept of ‘more crop per drop’? Discuss. How do various micro irrigation techniques help in this regard? Explain.

5. What do you understand by the concept of ‘more crop per drop’? Discuss. How do various micro irrigation techniques help in this regard? Explain. 

प्रति बूंद अधिक फसलकी अवधारणा से आप क्या समझते हैं? चर्चा करें। इस संबंध में विभिन्न सूक्ष्म सिंचाई तकनीक कैसे मदद करती हैं? समझाएं।


Government of India is committed to accord high priority to water conservation and its management. To this effect Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.


Concept of ‘more crop per drop’

  • As part of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) Government of India has been implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Micro Irrigation with the objective to enhance water use efficiency in the agriculture sector by promoting appropriate technological interventions like drip & sprinkler irrigation technologies and encourage the farmers to use water saving and conservation technologies. 
  • “Per Drop More Crop”, an integral component of PMKSY focuses on maximizing water use efficiency at the farm level. Major activities under Per Drop More Crop can be categorized into “Micro Irrigation” including Drip, Sprinkler, Micro Sprinklers etc; and “Supplementary Water Management Activities (SWMA)/ Other Interventions”. 
  • SWMA activities include farm level secondary storage structures such as individual or community water storage, Drought proofing structures such as water harvesting or recharge or ground water development, renovation of existing water bodies, enhancing water conveyance efficiency and water lifting devices.
  • Pattern of assistance to beneficiaries under the component will be 55% for small and marginal farmers and 45% for other farmers. Funding pattern is 60% from the Central Government and 40% from the State. For North East and Himalayan States, the cost share is 90: 10 from the Centre and State. For UTs, the programme is funded 100% by the Central Government.

Various micro irrigation techniques and their help in realizing ‘more crop per drop’

  • Drip irrigation system also known as ‘trickle irrigation system’, is a method of applying the required amount of water directly to the root zones of plants through drippers or emitters at frequent intervals. In this system, water is applied drop-by-drop or by a micro jet on the soil surface or sub-surface at a rate lower than the infiltration rate of the soil.
  • Sprinkler irrigation system is a method of applying water in a manner similar to rain. It is suited for most row, field and tree crops. Water can be sprayed over or under the crop canopy.
  • Sub-surface drip fertigation system combined with conservation agriculture approaches used at least 40 percent less water and needed 20 percent less Nitrogen-based fertilizer, for the same amount of yields under flood irrigation, and still be cost-effective for farmers. Sub-surface drip fertigation systems involve belowground pipes that deliver precise doses of water and fertilizer directly to the plant’s root zone, avoiding evaporation from the soil. The proposed system can work for both rice and wheat crops without the need to adjust pipes between rotations, saving money and labor.
  • Water requirement in drip or sprinkler irrigation is much less as compared to any other conventional method of irrigation. This is because of irrigation of a smaller portion of land, decreased evaporation from the soil surface and reduction or elimination of run-offs. Waterlogging, which occurs under flat surface flood irrigation, is rare in case of micro irrigation. Since micro irrigation system allows high level of water control application, water can be applied only when needed and losses due to deep percolation can be minimized or avoided. Micro irrigation can reduce water usage by 25–40 per cent as compared to overhead systems and 45–60 per cent as compared to surface irrigation
  • Micro irrigation systems ensure uniform water application. Therefore, all plants in a field receive equal amount of water. Higher uniformity results in efficient irrigation, thereby, causing less wastage of water, power and fertilisers. Consistent water application results in better and uniform crop yields as each plant is given the required amount of water and nutrients for optimum growth.
  • Improves chemical application Micro irrigation system can apply chemicals to plants through fertigation unit. ‘Fertigation’ is the application of fertilisers used for making soil amendments in order to improve plant growth. Since the fertilisers are applied directly to the root zones of the plants, a reduction in the total amount of fertiliser applied is possible, which saves an average of 25–50 per cent of the total cost.  Micro irrigation systems apply the right fertiliser to the plants at a given time. Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides can also be applied through microirrigation systems, and thereby, help improve the crop yield.
  • Reduces weeds and diseases Weeds compete with the crops for nutrients, moisture and sunlight, which can reduce the crop quality and the yield. These also serve as a habitat for diseases and insect-pests, which attack the main crop. Weed growth is inhibited in areas irrigated by drip irrigation as only a limited area gets irrigated. Hence, the threat of weeds and diseases is reduced.
  • Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems are being promoted under “Per Drop More Crop” component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). Under the scheme, 15% additional assistance is provided to small and marginal farmers for installation of micro irrigation systems compared to other farmers for area covered under Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Desert Development Programme (DDP) and North Eastern and Himalayan States and 10% for other areas.
  • As per available information, from Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare during the last three years (2013-14 to 2015-16), 14.3 lakh hectare area have been covered under drip and sprinkler irrigation systems (Drip Irrigation- 9.04 lakh hectare, Sprinkler Irrigation- 5.26 lakh hectare) in the country including Punjab and Haryana.

All the above data shows various micro irrigation techniques helping in realizing ‘per drop more crop’ in the country.


Experts point out that the ‘per drop more crop’  an integral part of PMKSY, if implemented properly, will not only help in achieving India’s climate agenda for 2030 but will also provide various other social, economic and environmental co-benefits namely SDG1 (reducing poverty), SDG2 (increasing agricultural productivity), SDG 6 (judicious use of water), SDG8 (economic growth) and SDG12 (sustainable production).

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