March 1, 2016

2016: ITP Highlight # 01

The Modi government has made a bold promise of delivering water to every farm. Can it really be done? Shah and others discuss how recent irrigation reforms in MP offer useful insights for PMKSY...

Har Khet Ko Pani?

(Water to every farm?)

Emulate Madhya Pradesh’s Irrigation Reform

Tushaar Shah, Gourav Mishra, Pankaj Kela and Pennan Chinnasamy

The Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) has promised the country har khet ko pani. However, this is easier said than done. As we saw in Andhra Pradesh and Vidarbha, grand irrigation projects can guzzle up billions without delivering any benefit to farmers. PMKSY should concentrate on two low-hanging fruits. First, it should quickly utilise 20-40 million ha of unutilised irrigation potential created in Major, Medium and Minor irrigation projects. Second, it should provide better quality power ration to farmers during peak irrigation season. Under Chauhan, Madhya Pradesh did precisely this and multiplied the state’s irrigated area quickly, at small incremental cost, delivering double-digit agricultural growth.

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