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Affordable Drip Irrigation Technology
International Development Enterprise India (IDEI)’s Drip irrigation programme started in 1997 to address the irrigation problems of small and marginal farm families living in water scarce regions of India. Drip irrigation is a water-saving technology which enables slow and regular application of water directly to the roots of the plants through a network of economically designed plastic pipes and low discharge emitters. It maximizes crop productivity through increase in the crop yield and also the area for cultivation, and protect the environment through conserving soil, water and fertilizer resources, and thus increasing the farmer income.
Though Drip Irrigation as a water-saving technology, comprising drip and sprinkler irrigation, existed in India and elsewhere for over fifteen years, it was not appropriate and affordable for small and marginal farm families. Hence the key task of IDEI during 1997-2000 period was to adapt this technology to suit the needs of poor farm families and, more importantly, to make the technology affordable.
Conventional technologies have a high capital cost, high tech in nature making it complicated to install and maintain. Further there is a severe lack of efficient market supply chain in rural areas to develop, manufacture, install and maintain micro irrigation systems appropriate to India’s small and marginal farmers.
IDEI has suitably adapted this technology to meet the needs of poor farm families by making the technology simpler and affordable.