Drip Irrigation Cost per Acre in India – A Full Guide

Introduction: Hello farmers today we go through the drip irrigation cost per acre in India apart from drip system subsidy by government of India. Drip irrigation is a method of crop irrigation that mainly involves a controlled delivery of water to plants through a system of pipes, valves, tubing, and emitters. Drip or trickle is also called micro or localized irrigation is a pressurized system to irrigate the crops and orchards, consists of an extensive network of pipes generally of small diameters that deliver water directly to the soil near the plant. The system generally possesses a fertilizer injection system, supplying plants with needed nutrients.

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In a drip irrigation system, the objective is to provide each plant with a continuous readily available supply of soil moisture, which is sufficient to meet transpiration demands. A filter is used to remove suspended materials, organic matter, sand and clay soil to reduce blockage of the emitters. In this article we also cover all the following topics;

  • Pressure regulator for drip irrigation
  • Water pressure required for drip irrigation
  • Principle of drip irrigation
  • Advantages of drip irrigation system
  • Cost of drip irrigation per acre in India
  • Drip irrigation better than sprinklers
  • Rules for installing a drip irrigation system
  • Water-saving in a drip irrigation system
  • Factors will affect the drip irrigation system cost

A step by step guide to drip irrigation cost per acre in India

Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient methods of irrigation. In this system the water drips directly onto the soil, preventing losses the soil, preventing losses due to evaporation or run-off, and if the flow rates are set correctly, water losses due to deep percolation can be minimized. This provides a moist environment for the roots which optimizes growth, while keeping the rest of the plant relatively dry, and which helps prevent diseases. Furthermore, with drip irrigation systems, you can control where the water is applied, which increases water efficiency and helps minimize weed growth. Drip irrigations are typically about 90% efficient, as compared to sprinkler systems which are about 75% efficient. Water savings can be as high as 50% and plant yields can be increased by up to 40%.

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A guide to Drip Irrigation.
A guide to Drip Irrigation.

The drip irrigation system is the practice of applying small amounts of water and fertilizer uniformly across a specific area. The water and fertilizer are delivered directly to the plant root zone, eliminating runoff, evaporation, and drift. Properly designed drip irrigation gives producers the best uniformity and application efficiency obtainable, consequently saving them time, energy, and water. A typical drip irrigation system needs about 25 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure to function optimally, however many emitters rated at 25 psi will work well at pressures as low as 15 psi. The flow output could be slightly less than at 25 psi but any difference can be made up with longer watering times.

Drip irrigation systems should run longer than sprinkler systems because they deliver water slowly and efficiently.

We recommend you run drip irrigation;

  • Twice a week in spring and fall.
  • Every other day in the summer.
  • Once a week or every other week in winter.

The advantage of drip irrigation over a sprinkler system is that there is little water loss due to evaporation or runoff. It’s good for mulched areas because it can directly soak the soil without washing away the mulch. About 90 percent of the water goes into the ground when compared to 30 percent that is sprayed. The Environmental Protection Agency says drip irrigation can save up to 30,000 gallons of water per year, which is about three times what the average landscape consumes.

Benefits of a drip irrigation system

Utilization of a drip irrigation system provides other benefits to both the farmer and crop production;

  • A simple implementation of existing soil sensors.
  • Management of soil moisture level; plants are irrigated immediately when soil moisture drops below the threshold.
  • Application of fertilizers and pesticides combined with irrigation systems.
  • Reduced weed development and facilitated the management of farm activities in the field due to localized soil wetting.
  • Drip irrigation is a great solution to crop productions with dry, saline, low drainage soils and on soils where moisture maintenance may result in high insect pests and disease incidence.
  • Irrigation could be stopped at any moment which prevents over-irrigation.
  • Easy to install, design, and it can be inexpensive.
  • Possible to implement on almost any terrain, soil, and crop type; particularly suitable for high-value row crops.

Types of drip irrigation system

Their many types available in drip irrigation here two popular types are explained.

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Surface drip system

In the surface drip system, the emitter and lateral pipe are located on the soil surface. This is the common and popular type of drip system. It is appropriate for wide-spaced plants as well as for row crops. It is simple to use a surface drip to observe and inspect, change and clean the emitters, observe surface moisture patterns and measure individual emitter discharge rates.

Sub-surface drip system

In subsurface drip irrigation the lateral is placed below the ground and near to the plant root zone area. In this irrigation system, water is slowly applied below the surface through the emitters. These systems have gained wider acceptance due to the removal of earlier problems of clogging to a large extent. Due to the sub-surface drip irrigation method, there is less intervention in agriculture or any cultural practices and possibly more operational life.

Sub-surface drip system provides little interference with crop cultivation or any cultural practices and possibly longer operational life.

Drip irrigation system installing rules

Some important rules to follow when installing a drip irrigation system;

Poor or No Filtration

Filtered water is best for the overall health of crops and many drip irrigation systems come with a filter to ensure that you have many years of trouble-free use. Using a filter with a mesh screen of at least 155 is best if you want to give adequate protection to the small orifices of the micro-sprinklers and drippers.

Not Enough Emitters

The most common mistake people make when designing their drip system is not including enough drip emitters into the plan. Having the proper amount of emitters will ensure that plants’ root systems are getting the water they need. The more emitters you have, the happier and healthier plants will be and by having more than one emitter per plant, you eliminate the risk of having a clogged emitter kill off that plant. If you have a smaller plant that requires one emitter, ensure that you use a clogging disk to prevent this risk.

Incorrect Pressure

Having adequate pressure is very important for any drip irrigation system; without it, your system will fail and your plants will suffer from a lack of water. Too many emitters on a single line will affect a lack of water pressure and this could lead to clogging and inadequate watering. Also, use a good pressure regulator to ensure that the drip irrigation system will operate correctly. 

Bad Placement

Placing drip emitters too close together or too far apart is another bad move. Placing them evenly will ensure that plants get the proper amount of water without having areas oversaturated. A good rule of thumb is to place a drip emitter evenly spaced along the plant line and a minimum of 6 inches from the base of the plant.

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Improper Zoning

By “Zoning” drip irrigation systems, you are effectively separating plants that have different watering needs from others. If you have trees, shrubs, and dry climate plants; you will want three separate drip irrigation zones to provide them the water they need without over-or under-watering. You can separate your zones by type of soil and size of plants. There are several ways to properly zone your system and knowing the right way will make all of the difference to your plants.

Planning a drip irrigation system

Source of water that flows at a rate of at least 2 to 5 gallons per minute with at least 30 to 40 pounds of pressure. If using a rain barrel, raise it to increase the pressure. Locate the area to be irrigated as close as possible to the water source. Use a 5/8-inch or ¾-inch hose to obtain from house faucet to the header in the area to be irrigated. Verify the layout of the area to be irrigated. Make a sketch using a graph or grid paper draw the area and tubing needs.

When buying irrigation system equipment, avoid mixing brands of fittings, hoses, and emitters unless they are compatible. Emitter selection is key to the success of all drip irrigation. Some emitters perform satisfactorily underground, while another tube is used above ground. Emitter clogging is a major problem in drip irrigation and they clog easily.

Operating a drip irrigation system:

Operating a drip irrigation system is a matter of deciding how often to turn it on and how long to leave it on. The object is to keep adequate soil moisture without wasting water. Also, bring the moisture level in the root zone up to a satisfactory level.

Subsidy component for drip irrigation system

Farmers withholding up to 2.5 acres of dry land or 1.5 acres of wetland are defined as Marginal Farmers and eligible for 90%subsidy.

Farmers withholding up to 5 acres of dry land or up to 2.5 acres of wetland are defined as Small Farmers and eligible for 90%subsidy.

Farmers with landholding above 5 acres of dry land or above 2.5 acres of wetland are defined as Other Farmers and eligible for 80% subsidy.

Farmer’s eligibility for drip irrigation system

Approximately 16.05% of the total financial target shall be covered by schedule caste farmers;

And 9.55% of the total financial target shall be covered by schedule Tribes farmers.

Not less than 25% of the total financial target can be covered by BC farmers;

Not less than 50% of the total financial target shall be covered by SF or MF farmers;

Not exceeding 10% of the financial target shall be covered by other farmers (more than 5 acres of landholding).

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Limitations in using a drip irrigation system

Despite many benefits, the drip system has limitation factors for successful implementation on crop production;

  • Clogging of emitters due to small outlets, caused by soil particles, chemicals, fertilizers, and organic materials.
  • Damage on plastic pipe caused by rodents.
  • Uniformity of water due to elevation differences in the unleveled field.
  • Potential salt accumulation in the plant root zone between two irrigation cycles.
  • Plants are more susceptible to stress if drip irrigation fails.

Government subsidy for drip irrigation in India

The subsidy is available for the Drip irrigation system in India under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The government of India gives irrigation subsidy per beneficiary up to 5 hectares. There has been financial assistance under different categories and mainly depending upon the category of States for dessert, drought, hilly and other regions of the country.

The Centre offered 35 to 45 percent subsidy for drip irrigation under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and the rest subsidy could be borne by the State government. A maximum subsidy of Rs. 1 lakh could be given per hectare of land. A total of 300 farmers could be benefited under the scheme this year.

Cost of a drip irrigation system

Cost of a drip irrigation system depends on;

The Cost of drip irrigation system installation depends upon different factors, such as what kind of crop you are sowing, type of terrain, quality of soil, sowing pattern, water quality, and quality of drip material, and design of the drip irrigation system.

Also, the cost of drip irrigation depends on;

  • Size and shape of the land
  • Type of Soil
  • Terrain
  • Types of crop
  • Sowing pattern
  • The subsidy is given by the government

Some of the factors that will affect the drip irrigation system cost can be given below;

Yard Size – The bigger the yard, the more materials the contractor will want to finish the job, and the more time it will take.

Soil Type – The type of soil you have will play a big factor in the system cost. Rocky and also sandy soil requires machinery. Otherwise, it becomes time-consuming to install a drip irrigation system.

Quality of Parts – High-end parts will increase the price of the overall system. However, they are likely to last longer before needing to be replaced.

Uneven Ground – Slopes, and hills can make the installation of any kind of drip irrigation system more challenging. It can cause several problems with the flow of pressure, which means more pressure regulators will need to be installed. Regrade your lawn if the uneven ground is causing an issue in a drip irrigation project.

Large Trees – If there are large trees on the lot, there is a good chance that their roots might get in the way of the system installation.

Drip irrigation cost per acre in India

Installation cost depends on several factors. For crops that are planted in 6X6 pattern drip irrigation cost only about Rs. 35,000 per acre. Nowadays the cost of drip irrigation in India varies from 45000 to 60000 Indian rupees per acre.

That’s all folks about drip irrigation cost per acre in India. You may be interesetd in Organic Farming Business Plan.




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