The Saurashtra region
of Gujarat has the lowest rainfall in the state. Due to lack of
water, farmers have difficulty producing both high quality crops
and a variety in crops.
Trickle or Drip
Irrigation was first introduced in Gujarat by the Bochasanwasi
Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. It was put to test
at one of the Sanstha’s centers, Sarangpur, which is located in
The drip irrigation
system consists of low flow watering devices, called emitters
(rubber or plastic pipes), that place water directly at the base
of the plant. The system has been used successfully in the deserts
The system has many
- Water is used efficiently by
being poured directly at the base of the plant, and not being
wasted between the rows.
- Fertigation is possible through
- The plant leaves remain dry,
thereby reducing fungal problems in sensitive crops.
- Relatively low pump pressures
are required to operate the system.
- There is low labor requirement
to operate these systems, which are easy to automate.
The main advantage
of drip irrigation is its ability to deliver the required amount
of water to the right place. The drip system carries water through
small tubes to tiny emitters, to water only the plant, instead
of flailing water through the air or pumping it in open channels.
Testing the system
in Sarangpur, the sadhus and volunteers of the Sanstha were able
to grow vegetables and fruit normally grown in South Gujarat (a
highly fertile region), using less water. The quality of the crop
also improved. With high success results, the Sanstha called farmers
from surrounding areas to inform and teach them about the new
system. The State Government also passed a bill to subsidise the
system for farmers.
The system is successfully
used today by the Sanstha in Sarangpur, Gadhada, Gondal, Gandhinagar,
Nenpur and other centers.