This study examines the impacts of micro-irrigation on water resources, agriculture and farmers in Gir Somnath district, Gujarat.
Integrated water resource management practices are vital to sustain groundwater resources, agriculture and allied livelihood activities, as well as cater to household needs in the rural economy. However, access to a continuous supply of water remains a key constraint for farmers in several parts of India. To address this issue, Ambuja Cement Foundation has launched a water resource management programme that focuses on creating necessary infrastructure for water conservation, such as check dams and roof rain water harvesting structures, and irrigation methods such as drip and sprinkler irrigation. Several assessments of the drip method of irrigation (DMI) indicate that the method can induce significant water savings, which in turn lead to intensification of agriculture and loss of aquifer recharge. While environmental and agricultural productivity benefits have been studied, there is a need to better understand factors affecting adoption of drip irrigation, and evidence on the socio-economic benefits from adoption. This study analyses the impact of Ambuja Cement Foundation’s drip irrigation programme on agriculture, livelihood and socio-economic domains in selected villages in coastal Gujarat.
The impact assessment was conducted in the following villages: Una, Kodinar, Sutrapada and Veraval tehsils in the Gir Somnath district. The assessment examined the impact of the programme on water resources, agricultural practices and farmers. It covered 13 beneficiary villages and seven control villages in the above tehsils.