Irrigation is the process through which controlled amount of water can be supplied through artificial means such as pipes, ditches, sprinklers etc. the main objectives of irrigation systems is to help agricultural crop growth, landscape maintenance, reduce the effect of inadequate rainfall etc. Therefore, the importance of irrigation systems is very high.
Main importances of irrigation supplies are discussed below.
- Agriculture is often greatly hampered due to irregular, insufficient or uncertain rain. Proper irrigation systems can secure uninterrupted agriculture.
- The productivity of irrigated land is more than the un-irrigated land. Crop yields everywhere in the developing world are consistently higher in irrigated areas than in rainfed areas1.
- Seeds cannot grow in dry soil as moisture is necessary for the germination of seeds. With the help of irrigation supply, the required moisture content of soil for the growth of seed can be ensured.
- Multiple cropping in a year is possible through irrigation. This will enhance production & productivity. In many areas of India, two or three crops in a year are cultivated with irrigation facilities.
- Through the irrigation, it is possible to supply the required amount of hydrogen & oxygen, which is important for the proper development of plant root.
- A plant can absorb mineral nutrients from the irrigated soil. Thus irrigation is essential for the general growth of the plant.
- Bringing more land under cultivation is possible through irrigation.
- Insufficient rain may also cause drought & famines. Irrigation can play a protective role during the period of drought & famines.
- Irrigation contributes to the economic growth and poverty reduction2. As income and employment are closely related to output and irrigation increases production, substantial increase in income is achieved in the countryside.
- Rosegrant and Perez 1997; Ringler et al. 2000; Huss ain and Hanjra 2004; Lipton et al. 2005.
- A comprehensive review of World Bank – assisted irrigation projects during 1994 – 2004 ( IEG 2006) and a review of irrigation projects in Asia that received assistance from the International Water Management Institute ( ADB/IW MI 2 005)