8.34          ndian     onom
     irrigation – can improve water use efficiency,                    In order to promote judicious use of water
     reduce costs of production by reducing labour                ensuring ‘more crop per drop’ of water in
     costs and power consumption. [One of the                     agriculture for drought proofing, the GoI recently
     objectives of the PMKSY (Prime Minister’s Krishi             launched the PMKSY aiming at providing water
     Sinchai Yojana) is to enhance on-farm WUE                    to every field of agriculture
     (Water-Use-Efficiency) spatially and temporally to
     reduce wastage by promoting precision irrigation                FArm mecHAnIsAtIon
     like sprinkler, drip etc.] There good instances of
     MI (Micro Irrigation) technology in enhancing                India needs to introduce better equipment for each
     irrigation efficiency and cutting costs39 –                  farming operation in order to reduce drudgery,
          (a) The adoption of sprinkler irrigation                to improve efficiency by saving on time and
                resulted in 35 to 40 per cent savings             labour, improve productivity, minimize wastage
                of irrigation water in the cultivation            and reduce labour costs for each operation.
                of groundnut and cotton in Gujarat,               Agricultural mechanisation in case of India is
                Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.                     increasingly needed as:
          (b) The adoption of drip irrigation resulted                 (i) Due to shortage of labour for agricultural
                in 40 to 65 per cent savings in water                      operations owing to rural-urban
                for horticulture crops and 30 to 47 per                    migration, shift from agriculture to
                cent for vegetables. Such examples need                    services and rise in demand for labour
                to be emulated by other areas/crops in                     in non-farm activities, there is need to
                these states and in other states for a larger              use labour for agricultural operations
                basket of crops.                                           judiciously, which makes a strong case
                                                                           for mechanisation of farming.
     WAter ProDuctivity                                               (ii) Indian agriculture has a high proportion of
     Water productivity in India is very low. The                          female workforce in both the cultivation
     overall irrigation efficiency of the major and                        and processing stages of farming.
     medium irrigation projects in India is estimated                      Therefore, ergonomically designed tools
     at around 38 per cent. As per the NITI Aayog,                         and equipment for reducing drudgery,
     efficiency of the surface irrigation system can be                    enhancing safety and comfort and also to
     improved from about 35-40 per cent to around                          suit the needs of women workers would
     60 per cent and that of groundwater from about                        help in better adoption of technologies in
     65-70 per cent to 75 per cent. Water productivity                     agriculture.
     needs to be enhanced by the following methods –                   Some important facts regarding mechanisation
           (i) tapping, harvesting and recycling water,           of the farm sector in India:
          (ii) efficient on-farm water management                      (i) Although India is one of the top countries
                practices,                                                 in agricultural production, the current
                                                                           level of farm mechanisation, which
         (iii) micro irrigation,                                           varies across states, averages below 50 per
         (iv) use of waste water, and                                      cent as against more than 90 per cent in
          (v) resource conservation technologies.                          developed countries (Economic Survey
       39.    National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in
              Horticulture study has been quoted by Ministry of       (ii) The farm mechanization in India has
              Finance, Economic Survey 2015–16, p. 104                     been growing at a rate of less than 5 per