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Chapter - II

Review of Literature


The important studies which were available on the drip irrigation

were reviewed and are presented in this chapter.

Sivanappan37 (1981) observed that in Tamil Nadu the entire

surface water has been harvested and more than 70 percent of the
ground water resources have also been tapped. Even if the utilisable
water resources in fully harvested, the per cent of area of irrigation
will come to only about 55 per cent. In many parts including Tamil
Nadu, already water is a scarce commodity and to bring more area
under irrigation, advance method of irrigation is a must. The drip
irrigation has many advantages especially in sandy tracts. By
introducing this method it is possible to increase the area of irrigation
by at least 50to60 percent. Opinion that the Government and other
agencies should help in introducing the system in order to increase the
agricultural production in the years to come in the Country.

Further, Sivanappan along with Natarajan38 (1984) analysed

plasticulture in water conservation and found that conveyance of the

37. R-K. Sivanappan “Drip Irrigation : Past, Present, and Future Kisan
World 8(1), August 1981 pp 14-17.
38. R.K. Sivanappan and S. Natarajan “Plasticulture In Water Conservation”
Kisan World 2(1) Januaiy 1984 Pp-25-27:
irrigation water from the source to the field through pipes were avoid

seepage and evaporation losses completely. PVC or alkathene pipes of

various sizes can be used to convey the water either pressure or

gravity. The parts of the drip systems are pipes and tubing, filters,

drippers and fertiliser injectioner.

The flexibility of the plastic pipes is the main reason for

which they are used in this irrigation system. The lateral pipes are

made of LDPC and drippers are made of HDPE. There is great scope

for expanding this method in sandy and water scarce areas due to its

various advantages like saving of water, increase of yield and

reduction in weed growth. If it is possible to reduce the cost of the

plastic pipes, there is every possibility to use this method in large


The irrigation water is lost due to scope, per-colation and

evaporation during storage, conveyance and application in the field.

The use of plastics in these areas have great scope for saving the

irrigation water. By adopting drip irrigation, the water saving method,

we can cultivate double the amount of area as now being irrigated.

The incentives should be given to the farmers by way of waiving the

excise and other taxes on plastic materials and finished products. Also

the Government can give subsidies to farmers on plastic materials and

drip irrigation tools.

Jack keller, Sivanapan and Varadan39 demonstrated the potential

productivity and economic advantages of designing for deficit (or

under) irrigation of selected crops in water short age areas. Deficit

irrigation of relatively large land area may be more productive and

profitable than fully irrigating a small area of land. Coconuts appear

to be good candidates for deficit irrigation because of the continuous

re-generation of new flowers and bunches of nuts. An example

calculation of this study was used to present the design logic for

deficit drip irrigation of coconut trees. The example calculation

shows that deficit irrigation for coconuts during the dry season in

39. Jack keller, Sivanapan and Varadan, Jain Irrigation System, “Drip
On Coconut”, paper presented in a National Seminar on Dnp
Irrigation held on 9.10.88 at W.T.C., T.N.AU., Cbe., Kisan World
Nov pp 38-40, Coconut special issue.
Kerala should be more productive and profitable use of limited water

supplies than full irrigation. The Coconut trees there generally have

large canopies that give almost full shade and they produce 150 to 200

nuts/trees per year (rather than only 75) when fully irrigated and

planted at a density of 185 trees per ha. Deficit irrigation systems that

give low emission uniformities will produce coconut yields almost high

as those with high uniformities. Therefore, under conditions where it is

expensive to obtain and maintain high uniformities, drip systems having

relatively low uniformities may be more profitable.

An experiment conducted by the Jain irrigation systems Ltd.,

Coimbatore on drip in coconut during the year 1985-86 to 1988-89

reveals that 30 litres/palm/day was sufficient to produce 87.4

nuts/palm/year as against 59.4 nuts/palm/year with an application of

600 lit./palm/week. This study has shown that 30 - 100 per cent

combination yielded 66.5 nuts/palm/year as compared to flood, 55.9

Bangal, Londhe and Kalbande40 indicated that tomato was very

much responsive to drip irrigation. Whereas the yield increased from

negligible to 50 per cent in some locations, there was universally a high

water economy at most of the locations with a saving of 30 to 50 per cent.

Tomato is a popular vegetable crop which is not only used as vegetable but

in other forms of processed foods. In winters its cost grows quite high.

Although its cultivated area is not correctly known, it is grown in large

quantities around cities and neighbouring villages. Keeping in view the

water economy it gives, there is a good scope of application of drip

irrigation in tomato cultivation. Benefit - cost ratio of potato was 5.15 in

drip system and 3.96 in conventional system.

An Attempt has been made by Joseph41 to work out the cost

of drip system. Tamil Nadu, where high temperature and low
humidity water every alternative day during hot summer provided the
basin of Coconut trees are filled with coir dust and farm yard
manure of 20 kg, 30 kg, respectively digging a minimum depth of 9
inches by providing 4 nos. of drippers at correct points.
40. G.B. Bangal, F.B.Londhe andD.H. Kalbande, Comparative Studies of Furrow
and Drip Irrigation Systems in Tomato”, Proceedings of National Seminar held
atM.P.A.U, Rahuri, India, LF.D. + I.W.M. Publication 1987, pp.169-172.
41. George P. Joseph: “A Few Facts and Tips on Drip Irrigation System
for Coconut Plants”. Kissan World. Nov. 1991, Coconut Special Issue, pp. 40-41.
The total cost / tree for the system as per present conditions

(1991) would only be Rs.100 to 130 depending on the extent to be

installed with the system. The cost is inclusive of all maintenance

/repair/taxes of the system and is highly economical as the above cost

of materials laid near surface are depreciated for a minimum period

of 20 to 25 years if designed and installed by experienced people.

The yield will be increased to a minimum of 50 percent within two

to three years and in certain cases 100 per cent with proper farm

management by reducing considerable amount of time for irrigation

and labour. This study further stated that though drip is highly

economical, this fact is not made known to farmers in a convincing

Saksena43 did some case studies on the impact drip irrigation on

different crops like Sugarcane, Banana, Fruit-Citrus, Pomegranate,

Mosambi, Grapes, Groundnut and Tomato. The yield of sugarcane

reported under drip irrigation is 100 MT per ha. i.e., 35 percent more

43.R.S. Saksena: “Drip Irrigation in India Status and Issues”, Land

Bank Journal. Bombay, March 1992, pp. 12-14.

than under conventional irrigation. Water saving has been observed

about 50 per cent. In addition, other benefits like more recovery of

sugar and 50 per cent saving in labour costs were observed compared

to conventional system. Cost of system per ha was around Rs.25,000.

The payback period was about 18 months.

Average yield per ha Banana under drip irrigation was 29 MT,

about 50 per cent more than conventional method of irrigation.

Additional water saving in drip irrigation was about 50 per cent Cost

of the system was Rs. 40,000. The payback period was found

between 14-18 months. In addition, duration of the crop has been

reduced by about 2 months. Similarly, 50 per cent increase in yield

was found in the case of fruits. The cost was also low and the

payback period was only 12 months.

However, he comments that though the subsidy is given by

Government and the loan facility is available from banks, the drip

irrigation system has not made much progress and headway. The

farmers are very slowly adopting drip irrigation. The cost in India is

much higher compared to Farmer’s economic conditions.

Gajja, sharma and Joshi44 in their experiments drip iirigation in

sugarcane carried out in Gujarat, at several locations and at M.P.A.U.

Maharashtra showed that under various soil and climatic situations in India

it has been shown that there was a 20 to 40 per cent increase in yield, 50 per

cent saving in labour and 50 per cent saving in water by using drip

irrigation over conventional method. Out of a total area of 3.06m. hectares

under sugarcane in India producing 182.48 m. tons about 83.8 per cent area

is irrigated. The major sugar producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Tamil

Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh having the coverage of

area as 52.3 per cent, 6.7 per cent, 9.1 per cent, 6.0 per cent and 4.6 per cent

respectively. It may however, be mentioned that although in all states quite

a good amount of irrigation is provided in its cultivation but in Maharastra

the water use is more than 5 times of U.P. Whereas 8 to 10 irrigations are

required in U.P. 35 to 40 irrigations are applied in Maharashtra. There is a

44. B.D. Gajja, Vijayapaul Sharma and P.K. Joshi, “Irrigation Methods for
Sugarcane Crop - Gujarat State”, Indian Journal Agricultural
Economics. 50(1) April - June 1992, pp. 52-54.

tremendous scope of economizing water application increasing sugarcane

yield, enlarging more area under sugarcane and saving degeneration of

soils. Sugarcane benefit - cost ratio was 2.66 in drip system and 2.21 in

conventional system.

Akola and Dalvi45 conducted field experiments to have a

comparative analysis of drip and traditional irrigation methods for

vegetable crops such as Cauliflower, Tomato and Brinjal in

Maharashtra. In case of drip irrigation there was 30 to 50 percent of

saving in water and substantial increase in crop yield. Clogging of

drip set was a major problem which the farmers were facing. After

two years of its installation monthly low concentration hydrocholoric

acid treatment (6ph) is essential, to prevent inorganic clogging. No

hazardous effect of acid on soil was observed.

On the basis of opinions gathered from 42 farmers who were selected

randomly, a study by Akola and Dalvi found that majority of the

farmers had a moderately favourable attitude towards drip

45.P.K.V. Akola and V.B. Dalvi “ Drip Irrigation in Maharashtra”.

PKV HOS. Journal 15m May 25, 1992, PP 11-15.
irrigation system. Only 21 percent of respondents had high level of

attitudes and 5 per cent had low level of attitudes towards drip

irrigation system. In view of the moderately favourable attitude, it

may be stated that the respondents were also not totally against it.

This may be probably because of less experience about drip systems.

The drip systems was adopted mostly by more educated and socio­

economically better farmers. Total land holding, farmers education,

irrigation potential and land under drip irrigation were significantly

related with the attitude of farmers.

By an exploratory study using specification and estimation of a

benefit - cost model, Sivanappan46 explained the difference in the

yield of Banana under surface irrigation and drip irrigation. He

collected the data from about 500 banana growers in Maharashtra of

which about 40 fanners have installed drip system for the banana.

The spacing of the banana is 4.5’ X 4.75’. In the surface irrigation,

water is supplied once in 5 to 7 days whereas in drip the water is

46.R.K. Sivanappan “ Drip Irrigation for Banana in Maharashtra” Kisan

World, 20(12) December 1993, pp. 41-42.
given daily. It is informed that the saving of water in drip was

about 45 to 50 per cent compared to surface method.

The differences in yield was 18T/acre in surface irrigation field

(18 months) and 22.5 T/acre in the drip field (15-16 months). The

rattoon crop in the next 12 months on yield of 18T/acre in the drip

field. This indicates an increase of 4.5 T/acre i.e., 25 per cent. The

average price is Rs.2,000/T.n. It means drip area can get an

additional income of Rs. 9,000/acre.

/This study shows that the cost of the system was

Rs. 18,000/acre and the subsidy is 50 percent i.e., Rs.9,000 and the

farmer has to bear only Rs.9,000/acre which also can be recovered

within one season or 18 months. The cost-benefit ratio worked out

for this crop comes to 3.02 taking into account the saving of water

(50%). In addition it is gathered that the labour saving is above BO-

35 per cent due to the elimination of bed formation, no need for a

waterman to irrigate the field, less weed in the field and no need to

losen the soil as there will be compaction in the surface irrigation.


This study shown that the benefit cost ratio for drip system

was worked out by interviewing the farmers in Maharashtra and Tamil

Nadu. The ratio excluding the proposition of water saving is found

to range from 1.31 to 2.60 for various crops excluding grapes and for

grape it is about 13.35. If water saving is the criterion the ratio goes

up 2.78 to 11.05 and 30.00 for various crops and grapes respectively.

Narayanamoorthy47 made an evaluation of drip irrigation system

in two districts of Maharashtra. He selected two crops namely Grapes

in Nasik district and banana in Jalgaon district to conduct the study.

In each district 50 farmers - 25 adopters and 25 non-adopters were

selected. The study found that the productivity of the crops was

significantly higher for the farmers who adopted drip method of

irrigation compared to the non-drip adopters for both the crops.

Discount cash flow technique was used to understand the economic

feasibility of drip investment. The benefit cost ratio of the drip

irrigated crops was found as significantly higher than the non-drip

47. A.Narayanamoorthy “Evaluation of Drip Irrigation system in

Maharashtra” Mimeo Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics,
Pune, March 1996.
irrigated crops in both the districts. The calculated benefit cost ratio

for grapes under the method of drip irrigation was 1.76, while it was

only 1.42 under the flood method of irrigation.

Satyasai and Viswanathan48 analysed about the conservation of

water in water scarce areas and the feasible alternative strategies.

They collected data from 90 irrigated farmers in Hindupur taluk of

Anatapur District of Andhra pradesh. The study to examine the

trade-off involved in shifting cropping pattern away from water

intensive crops with reference to four parameters like gross income,

employment, number of irrigation hours applied and water use

efficiency. Renovation of tanks which are the traditional rain water

harvesting and ground water recharging structures, deserves primacy

over construction of new water harvesting structures or percolation

ponds. Water scarcity areas urgently need for strategies improving the

water use efficiency, maximising returns per unit of irrigation.

48.K.J.S. Satyasai and K.V. Viswanathan “Evaluation of Alternative

Water Management Strategies for Water Scarce Areas” Indian
Journal of Agriculutre Economics. July - September 1997,
pp. 499-507.

The conventional methods of irrigation consist of flooding the

field in case of field crops or flooding the root zone of the crop by

making ferrous or check basins in case of horticultural and cash crops.

The seepage and evaporation losses are eliminated by this method

and required depth of water is applied uniformly even in undulating

fields. The drip irrigation is precise and slow application of water in

the form of discrete drops.

Field experiments have proved that the drip irrigation systems

can save water upto 30 and increase crop yield upto 50 per cent and

improve the quality of the crop.

Nayaranamoorthy and Deshpande49 observed that the AFC study

provides estimates of incremental gross income of farmers due to drip

installation. The AFC estimates are based on the use of before-and-after

approach. While comparing the two, they have to take care that tracts /

taluks surveyed in the two studies are the same. Barring coconut, the AFC

49. A. Narayana Moorthy and R.S. Deshpande, “Economics of Drip

Irrigation : A Comparative Study of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu”,
mimeo, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune 1997 No.47.
estimates turn out to be far above those of: (i) Grapes (No.3.4) 8.9 times

higher (ii) Grapes (Coimbatore) 17.5 times higher, (iii) grapes (Jalgon) 3.7

times higher and (iv) coconut (Coimbatore) 1.4 times higher.

Kannan and Gurumurthy (1999)50 observed that cost for drip system.

In Indian climatic system the basin of coconut trees requires maximum 100

to 120 litres of water in every alternative day. The total cost / tree for the

system as per present condition (1999) would only be Rs. 120 depending on

the extent to be installed with the system. The cost is highly economical.

The yield was increased to a minimum of 52 to 55 per cent within two to

three years.

According to Dhawan31 the case for public subsidy in drip irrigation

partly, if not entirely, rests on social returns being far in excess of private

returns accruing to drip investors. Estimates of returns of drip investments

in India have been reviewed by him. In the literature, water saving benefits

50. S. Kannan and S. Gurumurthy, “Drip Irrigation and Water

Management”, Yojana February 1999, pp. 15-16.
51. Dhawan B.D., “Drip Irrigation Evaluating Returns”, Economic and
Political Weekly, October 14, 2000, pp.3775-3780.
are understood but not presented as a social benefit. Protective benefits of

drip investment, as distinct from its productive benefits, have been

recognised, parituclarly for farmers facing declining water yield in their

wells the monetary value of these benefits must be determined and

incorporated into benefit - cost estimates. Values of capital cost of drip

(with and without government subsidy availed by the sample drip farmers),

its annual operation and maintenance cost, and annual benefits from drip

irrigation in the form of incremental not output/income are given in respect

of grapes, bananas and coconut Assuming 12 per cent rate of discount and

providing for a lag of one year between investment and benefits, the BC

ratios have been computed. Even without government subsidy for drip

investment, the BC ratio for drip investment is quite impressive for five

year life. With subsidy, the ratio shows further improvement. In coconut

the benefit - cost ratio rises from 1.41 to 5.14, over three and a half fold

improvement. The position with regard to other crops(Grapes) - for which

the BC ratio is very high even without the benefits from water savings - the

benefit - cost ratio for drip investment of Rs.23,910 per hectare for all

crops taken together rises from 1.57 to 5.2 (over threefold rise). Barring the

case of banana, the benefit-cost ratio was found as more than double.