India with a geographical area of 329 million ha receives about 1170 mm rainfall with a runoff of 400 M ha m. The surface flow is estimated to be 187 M ha m. Out of the total runoff only 69 M ha m is utilizable and about 45 M ha m runoff is estimated to be utilizable. To achieve the projected foodgrain production of 245 million tones by the end of the year 2010 Government of India constituted a National Task Force on Micro Irrigation in 2004 with an objective to emphasize on all aspects of water conservation and to improve the water use efficiency to achieve More Crop Per Drop.
Water is a renewable resource, its availability in appropriate quality and quantity is under severe stress due to increasing demand from various sectors. Agriculture is the largest user of water, which consumes more than 80% of the country's exploitable water resources. The over all development of the agriculture sector and the intended growth rate in GDP is largely dependant on the judicious use of the available water resources. While the irrigation projects (major and medium) have contributed to the development of water resources, the conventional methods of water conveyance and irrigation, being highly inefficient, has led not only to wastage of water but also to several ecological problems like water logging, salinization and soil degradation making productive agricultural lands unproductive. It has been recognized that use of modern irrigation methods like drip and sprinkler irrigation is the only alternative for efficient use of surface as well as ground water resources. Hence, the Scheme on Micro Irrigation (MI), which aims at increasing the area under efficient methods of irrigation viz. drip and sprinkler irrigation.
Nature of Scheme
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme out of the total cost of the MI System, 40% will be borne by the Central Government, 10% by the State Government and the remaining 50% will be borne by the beneficiary, either through his/her own resources or soft loan from financial institutions. In other words, out of the Governmental assistance, 80% share (40% of unit cost) will be met by the Government of India (GOI) and the balance 20% (10% of unit cost) will be met by the participating State Government. The concerned States shall make available their share of 20% to the Implementing Agencies (IA) during the financial year.
Pattern of Assistance
In the case of drip irrigation, the assistance will be limited to 50% of the cost of the System for the specified crop spacing and for the area covered under the crop by the farmer. The assistance for sprinkler irrigation will also be 50% of the cost. In both the cases, the assistance will be limited to five ha per beneficiary family.
The assistance for MI demonstrations, to be taken in farms belonging to State/Central Governments, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), ICAR Institutions, progressive farmers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)/Trusts, on their own land will be @ 75% of the cost for a maximum area of 0.5 ha per beneficiary, which will be met entirely by the Central Government.
The Scheme will cover all categories of farmers irrespective of the size of land holding. However, while selecting the beneficiaries, care will be taken to ensure that the Small & Marginal farmers are given due priority for supplying the system. At least 25% of the beneficiaries should be Small & Marginal farmers. The Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) will be involved while selecting the beneficiaries.
Salient Features of NMMI
- NMMI is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in which 40% of the cost of the MI system will be borne by the Central Government, 10% by the State Government and the remaining amount will be borne by the beneficiary either through his / her own resources or loan from financial institutions.
- Additional assistance of 10% of the cost of the MI system will be borne by the Central Government in respect of small and marginal farmers.
- All categories of farmers are eligible to avail assistance under this scheme.
- Assistance to farmers will be limited to a maximum area of five ha per beneficiary.
- 75% of the cost of drip and sprinkler demonstration for a maximum area of 0.5 ha per demonstration will be borne by the Central Government.
- Assistance will be available for both drip and sprinkler irrigation for wide spaced as well as close spaced crops. However, assistance for sprinkler irrigation will be available only for those crops where drip irrigation is uneconomical.
- Assistance will be available for irrigation systems for protected cultivation including greenhouses, polyhouses and shadenet structures.
- Assistance will be available for implementation of advanced technology like fertigation with fertilizer tank / venture systems, sand filters / media filters, hydrocyclone filters / sand separators and other different types of filter and valves required for MI system.
- Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) will be involved in promoting the scheme and identification of priority areas.
- At the National Level, the Executive Committee of NMMI will review the progress of NMMI and approve the Annual Action Plans of States
- At the State level, the State Micro Irrigation Committee (SMIC) will oversee the implementation of the Mission programme in districts.
- The District Micro Irrigation Committee (DMIC) will coordinate the implementation of NMMI programme at the District level.
- NCPAH will coordinate and monitor the programme of NMMI in different States.
- The Scheme will be implemented by an implementing Agency (IA) at the State level duly appointed by the State Government. Funds will be released directly to the IA on the basis of approved plans for each year.
- The IA shall prepare the Annual Action Plan for the State on the basis of the district plans and get it forwarded by SMIC for approval of the Executive Committee (EC) of NMMI.
- SMIC shall forward 25 copies of the consolidated proposal to Ministry of Agriculture.
- Payment will be made through RTGS to the IA who will transfer funds to the identified districts. DMIC will provide funds to the system suppliers through the farmers / beneficiaries.
- Registration of System Manufacturers will be done by the SMIC for use in the Districts.
- Supply of good quality system, both for drip and sprinkler irrigation, having Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) marking and proper after sales services to the satisfaction of the farmers, is paramount.