Empowering Farmers to Enhance Water Use Efficiency: Innovative Practices in SSPC

Miteshkumar M Vaghasiya *

Narmada Irrigation Research Project, SSNNL, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

The Sardar Sarovar project, featuring a gravity dam on the Narmada River in Gujarat, stands as one of the largest in terms of concrete volume globally. This study investigates the project's extensive canal network and its impact on agricultural productivity in the command area. Covering a vast expanse across multiple states, the project's irrigation allocation and water management strategies are examined. Special attention is given to addressing soil degradation issues, particularly salinity, and implementing farmer-centered interventions to enhance water use efficiency. Methodologies include land rejuvenation efforts, reclamation of salt-affected land, participatory irrigation management, and promoting improved agricultural practices. Results indicate successful mitigation of soil degradation and increased crop yields through strategic interventions like cotton-castor relay cropping which has demonstrated a 1.5-fold increase in income compared to sole cropping. Intercropping with isabgul/ajwain, and implementing deficit irrigation have resulted in a substantial 43% increase in overall yield, particularly in cumin cultivation. Farmers have also embraced innovative water-saving techniques, such as alternative furrow irrigation and strategic timing of irrigation during critical growth stages, resulting in water savings of 30-35%. However, challenges remain in achieving widespread adoption of participatory irrigation management practices. The study concludes with insights into the necessity of sustained social engineering efforts and community engagement for long-term water resource management and agricultural sustainability in the project area.

Keywords: Deficit irrigation, participatory irrigation management, social engineering efforts, soil degradation, water use efficiency


How to Cite

Vaghasiya, M. M. (2024). Empowering Farmers to Enhance Water Use Efficiency: Innovative Practices in SSPC. Advances in Research, 25(4), 7–12. https://doi.org/10.9734/air/2024/v25i41075

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