Economics of Drip Method of Irrigation in Red Chilli Crop Cultivation:An Empirical Study from Tamil Nadu
AbstractConsidering the fast decline of irrigation potential and increased demand for water from different sectors, many initiatives have been introduced to conserve the scarce water resources in India. One of the methods introduced to save water consumption in agriculture was drip method of irrigation (DMI). It allows the farmers to cultivate the crops without moisture stress even under water scarcity conditions and therefore, DMI is also considered as an useful method for increasing the productivity of crops. Most of the earlier studies have analysed the economics of DMI by taking high value crops such as banana, sugarcane, grapes, etc., which are mostly cultivated by the resourceful farmers. DMI is also highly suitable for vegetable crops, such as red chilli, that are mostly cultivated by small landholders. However, detailed studies are seldom available on this crop using farm level data especially in the Indian context. An attempt is made in this study to fill this gap using farm level data collected from Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu State. This study shows that farmers can save about 43 per cent of water and increase productivity of red chilli by 39 per cent by adopting drip method of irrigation over the same crop cultivated under conventional flood method of irrigation. The profitability of chilli cultivating farmers under drip method of irrigation is about 205 per cent more than the non-drip adopters. Both NPV and BCR, estimated using the discounted cash flow analysis, show that the drip investment in red chilli cultivation is economically viable even without State's subsidy.
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