The Telangana Government signed an MoU with NABARD here for a loan of Rs 874 crore to the Horticulture Development Corporation to cover 3.15 lakh acres under Micro Irrigation scheme for 2016-17 and 2017-18. A Government release quoted Agriculture Secretary Parthasarathi as saying agriculture in the state is rain-fed and about 42.82 lakh acres depend on borewells for irrigation. Due to change in climatic conditions, the ground water level is decreasing and it is the need of the hour for the farmer to use micro irrigation, he said. Parthasarathi said the target for the year 2016-17 under the NABARD project is to cover 2.23 lakh acres allotted to all districts in the state.For judicious utilisation of groundwater, it is essential to have drip and sprinkler cultivation.
The MoU with Nabard further boost the drip irrigation system in the State,” said Parthasaradhi.He said according to the directions of Chief Minister the drip irrigation facility would be extended to 3.15 lakh acres during the period of 2016-18 with the financial support of NABARD.The loan amount would be utilised through the State Horticulture Development Corporation. The agreement was necessitated in view of the decline in ground water level in the State where agriculture is mostly rain-fed and over 42 lakh acres depend on bore wells to meet their irrigation needs, a release said. The government had taken up micro-irrigation projects on an extent of 2.23 lakh acres during the current year and the balance of 89,000 acres would be covered during the next financial year. The project was contemplated as micro-irrigation would not only save water, but also ensure plant growth and yields, save input costs, control weeds and improves fertilizer efficiency besides minimising diseases and pest problems. The MoU was signed by Agriculture Secretary C. Parthasarathi on behalf of the State Government and NABARD Hyderabad region chief managing director Radhakrishnan in the presence of senior officials of the department and the bank. In all, 13.75 lakh acres had been covered under micro-irrigation since the inception of the scheme in 2003, and the Government had concentrated on covering the balance 29.05 lakh acres.