What is Irrigation? Methods and Importance

Irrigation is the process of applying water to the crops artificially to fulfill their water requirements. Nutrients may also be provided to the crops through irrigation. The various sources of water are wells, ponds, lakes, canals, tube-wells, and even dams. Irrigation offers moisture required for growth and development, germination, and other related functions.


Methods of Irrigation

It classified by 2 different methods:

  • Traditional Methods: In this method, irrigation is done manually. Here, a farmer pulls out water from wells or canals by himself or using cattle and carries it to farming fields. This method can vary in different regions. The main advantage of this method is that it is cheap. But its efficiency is poor because of the uneven distribution of water.  Also, the chances of water loss are very high. Some examples of the traditional system are pulley system, lever system, chain pump. Among these, the pump system is the most common and used widely.
  • Modern Methods: The modern method compensates for the disadvantages of traditional methods and thus helps in the proper way of water usage.

The modern method involves two systems:

  1. Sprinkler System: A sprinkler system, as its name suggests, sprinkles water over the crop and helps in an even distribution of water. This method is much advisable in areas facing water scarcity. Here a pump is connected to pipes which generate pressure and water is sprinkled through nozzles of pipes.
  2. Drip System: In the Drip system, water supply is done drop by drop exactly at roots using a hose or pipe. This method can also be used in regions where water availability is less.

Importance of Irrigation

  1. It helps to increase productivity even in low rainfall.
  2. The productivity of irrigated land is higher as compared to the un-irrigated land.
  3. Multiple cropping is not possible in India because the rainy season is specific in most of the regions. However, the climate supports cultivation throughout the year. Irrigation facilities make it possible to grow more than one crop in most of the areas of the country.
  4. It helped to bring most of the fallow land under cultivation.
  5. Irrigation has stabilized the output and yield levels.
  6. Irrigation increases the availability of water supply, which in turn increases the income of the farmers.

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