Bengaluru: The government has begun doing the spadework to adopt the Israel model of drip irrigation in the state as assured in the recent Budget. Additional secretary of the co-operation department, Manoj Raj is looking into the feasibility of introducing the system in Karnataka and is expected to submit a detailed report to it.
While a committee headed by Mr Manoj Raj has held three meetings on procuring the technology needed for the Israeli drip irrigation system, it has already been introduced on a pilot basis in Bagalkote. Jain Irrigation Systems and Natfim Institution have together implemented it over 24,000 hectares covering 55 villages under the supervision of the Krishna Jala Bhagya Nigama in the district. The new irrigation system is helping nearly 15,000 farmers grow chillies, groundnut, soya bean and other short term yield crops.
Officers of the agriculture and horticulture departments are interacting with the farmers about the uses of the new irrigation system and getting their feedback on it. Depending on their response, the model could be extended across the state to help it use water more efficiently in irrigation by the agriculture, horticulture and cooperation departments, according to official sources.
The state had sent a team of officers including Mr Maheshwar Rao, secretary of the agriculture department, and officers of the horticulture department to Israel to gain firsthand information on its drip irrigation system that is helping it carry out agriculture so effectively despite its lack of water resources.