November 08, 2019

Farmers Invest More Crop Per Drop

Investor: Farmers
Project: GGRC - Micro Irrigation Project
Location: Kodinar (Gujarat)
Duration: 2010 - Ongoing

The agricultural sector is one of the key contributors to the water crisis in India, with 70% of all groundwater being pumped for inefficient flood irrigation purposes, which delivers only 35% water use efficiency.

The scenario was the name in Kodinar, Gujarat, a water stressed region where the majority of farmers flood irrigated crops. As a result of over pumping, the water table had depleted and salinity from the coastline had crept inland-crippling water supplies for both drinking and agricultural purposes. Flood irrigation does not only affect groundwater levels, it impacts crop productivity too- and so farmers suffer 4 types of losses from this outdated irrigation practice; overuse of limited water, reduction in crop productivity, increased cost of crop cultivation and use of fertilizers, and limited irrigation area. To tackle the problem ACF started mobilizing the farming community into learner groups-educating them on the judicious use of water in crop irrigation. A change of behavior was the need and so ACF focused efforts on educating farmers - providing water management training and conducting exposure visits to model farmers so farmers could see alternative irrigation techniques, such as drip and micro irrigation, first hand.

Farmers were surprised to learn that micro irrigation could help save up to 60% of water and that by installing it, they could increase their crop productivity by up to 40%. it did not take long for them to jump on board and be willing to make the change.

Acting as a facilitator, ACF helped farmers tap into the Government aided Micro Irrigation Scheme, enabling them to avail Government assistance as per eligibility and prevailing scheme norms, along with further incentive from ACF so that farmers could install micro irrigation by pooling resources.

The results were incredible, with 2444 farmers investing an average of Rs. 55,250 for the installation and adoption of micro and drip irrigation -to improve water use efficiency and water productivity. Farmers were eager and willing, for they could see the results and knew that change was necessary to solve the bigger water crisis of the region.

Since 2000, ACF has actively been working on ground water resources by constructing various water harvesting structures-but it was important to simultaneously ensure the efficient use of water by farmers to help curb the problem. The region has transformed and today the various work by both ACF and community has resulted in a social return on investment of Rs. 13 for every rupee invested.


  • 3674 ha total area under micro-irrigation
  • Financial Savings from adopting drip irrigation were used for Children's Education (50%), followed by purchase of farm equipment & better inputs (35%)
  • Mobilizing 2444 farmers to invest an average of Rs. 55,250
  • Salinty Pushback 8-10 kms towards coastline
  • Cumulative water saved 11.82 MCM
  • Yield improvements Bajra by 22%, Groundnut by 16% wheat/sugarcane by 5%
  • 2-8% saving on fertlizer inputs
November 08, 2019

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