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Plasticulture Can Help to Reduce Water Usage in Agriculture

Plasticulture, the use of plastics in agricultural application, can help saving water up to 50-70 percent, according to FICCI-TSMG report.

Plasticulture can play an important role in providing solutions to the water scarcity challenge currently facing the country. Plasticulture means the use of plastics in agriculture, horticulture, water-management, food grains storage and related areas.

Right usage of water is becoming increasingly important. With monsoons increasingly becoming erratic and alarming fall in ground water levels, the national food security mission can be in jeopardy.

Experts estimated that appropriate applications of micro-irrigation technologies can result in water saving up to 50-70 percent. They believe that plasticulture can play an important role in facilitating judicious usage of water Application of micro irrigation can help in increasing productivity by 30-100 % with significant saving of water and fertiliser use efficiency is also enhanced.

According to a FICCI-Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) report on the potential of plasticulture in India, Plasticulture is a viable solution for India to launch second green revolution. The paucity of water, lower productivity and inefficient use of fertiliser leading to higher carbon footprint can all be taken care by efficient use of plasticulture.

TSMG estimated that by using plasticulture applications in all pre and post-harvest requirements, the agriculture output can be increased by about Rs 68,000 crore.

On the demand side, awareness about the possible benefits and subsidies available could help in the adoption of technology. “Government should make the micro irrigation mandatory for all those crops which are water guzzling crops,” said Manish Panchal, Senior Practice Head - Chemical & Energy, Tata Strategic Management Group.