Water is crucial to food security and a necessary part of agricultural production. Irrigation agriculture, which accounts for 40% of all food produced globally, uses 20% of all cultivated land. Irrigated agriculture generally produces at least twice as much food per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, allowing for greater crop diversification and production intensification.
Water Challenges in Agriculture:
Agriculture is a vital sector that plays a critical role in providing food for a growing global population. However, it is also a sector that faces many challenges, one of which is water management.
One of the biggest challenges in agriculture is the availability of water. Many parts of the world, particularly developing countries, suffer from water shortages due to increased demand, population growth, and climate change. These water shortages can significantly impact agriculture, as crops and livestock require water to grow and thrive.
Another challenge in agriculture is the quality of water. Pollution, overuse of chemicals, and poor management practices can lead to water contamination, which can be harmful to both crops and livestock. It can lead to reduced crop yields and the need for more expensive inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides.
Water efficiency is also a challenge in agriculture. Many irrigation systems are inefficient and waste large amounts of water, leading to increased costs and reduced profits for farmers. Improving the efficiency of irrigation systems is essential in order to reduce water waste and increase productivity.
Climate change is also having an impact on water management in agriculture. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns can lead to more frequent droughts and floods, which can significantly impact crop yields. It can be particularly challenging in regions where agriculture is the primary source of income for communities.
Overall, water management in agriculture is a complex and multifaceted challenge that requires the implementation of effective policies, technologies, and practices. By addressing these challenges, we can ensure a sustainable and productive agricultural sector that is able to meet the needs of a growing global population.
Importance of Water in Agriculture
- No living thing can survive without water, which is a natural resource. Agriculture is just one of the many other practices where water is used. India is an agricultural nation, so water is essential to agriculture.
- Many of the needs of crops are met by water. About 90% of plants are made of water.
- Moisture in the soil is crucial because seeds cannot fully germinate in dry conditions. Water is crucial to the growth and flowering of plants as well as the production of flowers, fruits, and seeds in agriculture.
- Through the roots of the plants, water enters the plants. Through water, plants can also absorb additional fertilizers and minerals. The green portion of the plant receives the elements dissolved in water.
- Water in agriculture shields the crop from heat and drought. Irrigation is crucial for maintaining soil moisture, which is necessary for crop growth.
- In agriculture, water is used for pesticide spraying and irrigation. The amount of water in a crop’s yield is significant. If the crop receives water at the proper time, the yield will be excellent.
- There are many ways to water the crop. These include water from wells or tube wells, rain, canals, etc.
- It is crucial that we concentrate on using water-saving techniques in agriculture in the modern era. We must use contemporary irrigation techniques.
The Water Requirements for Different Crops
Like people, different crops require different amounts of water. Nevertheless, some plants also need a lot of water.
Intensive Water Use in Crops
Intensive water use in crops refers to the high amount of water required to grow certain types of crops, such as rice, wheat, and maize. These crops are often grown in areas with limited water resources, which can lead to overuse and depletion of these resources. Irrigation systems and water-saving technologies are often used to manage water use in these crops, but they can also have negative environmental impacts.
1. Rice: Water is an essential component for the growth and development of rice crops, and proper water management is crucial for maximizing the yield and quality of the rice crop. Tractors are often used to assist with irrigation in rice fields, either through the use of specialized equipment such as sprinkler systems or by pulling water from nearby sources such as rivers or canals. Tractors are also used for various other tasks related to rice cultivation, including soil preparation, planting, and pest control.
2. Wheat: Wheat is a cold-season crop. It requires different temperatures at different stages. The maximum temperature for germination is 20 to 25 degree Celsius, the maximum temperature for growth is 25 degree Celsius, and the maximum average at the time of grain filling (ripening) temperature of 14 to 15 degree Celsius is suitable.
There has been a lot of change in the concept of land preparation in wheat farming. Earlier, the soil was ploughed many times by a tractor to make the soil very friable, like fine flour. Now in wheat farming, only one or if the field becomes weed-free by ploughing twice with the tractor, there is sufficient moisture in the soil, and the seeds can be easily sewn at the same distance and depth, it is sufficient.
3. Sugarcane: Sugarcane plants require a dry and humid climate. Its plants start yielding in one to one and a half years. Due to this, it has to face adverse conditions, and even in these conditions, the plant develops properly. Its crop requires normal rainfall and only 75 to 120 cm. Rain is enough. Sugarcane seeds initially require a temperature of 20 degrees to germinate, and when their plants are developing, they require a temperature of 21 to 27 degrees. Its plants can tolerate only a maximum temperature of 35 degrees.
For sugarcane cultivation, it is first necessary to prepare its field properly. It is not appropriate to cultivate it on alkaline/acidic land and land where water gets accumulates. Before preparing the field for its cultivation, plough the field with a tractor. After the first ploughing of the field, put 15 to 20 tonnes of old cow dung manure in the field per hectare. After this, do two to three oblique ploughing of the field and mix cow dung manure properly in the soil. After this, the land is made moist by ploughing. After 2 to 3 days of ploughing, when the land becomes dry from above, complete the soil of the field crumbly and flat by ploughing it with a rotavator. Due to this, the roots of sugarcane will go deep, and the plant will get the necessary nutrients.