Innovative Irrigation: Success Stories in Water-resilient Agriculture

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Agriculture accounts for a whopping 89% of the water use in India, against the 69% global average. India takes 2-3 times the quantity of water compared to leading agricultural producers like Brazil, USA and China, to produce the same yield.

One of the key reasons for the inefficient usage of water in agriculture is the wear and tear on existing irrigation infrastructure, and a preference for water-guzzling crops.  

Water Use in Crop Production

This inefficiency is compounded by declining water supply owing to climate change, groundwater exploitation and salinisation. Low affordability, economic unviability, and a lack of surplus capital for farmers lead to slow adoption of micro-irrigation and precision technologies.

These challenges make it imperative to focus on optimal models of water use in agriculture. Our research highlights several replicable solutions in this space.

System of Crop Intensification | Tata Trusts, PRADAN

Drip Pool Programme | C&A Foundation, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme - India

Water-Saving or Drought-Tolerant Rice Varieties | International Rice Research Institute

Vayalagam Tankfed Agriculture Development Programme | DHAN Vayalagam Foundation

How can India be propelled towards a water-resilient future?
Explore our Perspective on Water Use Efficiency in India to learn more. 

To ensure the effectiveness of the solutions, the interventions would need to be designed and implemented in an integrated manner with enablers aimed at promoting awareness, research, market support, capacity building, financing, deployment, and policy.
This is where funders working at the nexus of water and agriculture can play a pivotal role in driving Indian agriculture towards a water- efficient future. They can accelerate water-efficient techniques in Indian agriculture by investing in research, offering incentives, supporting awareness programmes, and collaborating with NGOs.

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