Chitradurga: By adopting “in line dripper irrigation technique”, onion farmers of Chitradurga have not only reaped a bumper crop, but also encouraged the Horticulture Department to seek special subsidy from the Government to popularise the technique.
Drip irrigation was used in the district for other horticulture crops, but seldom for onion cultivation.
Realising the significance of the technique, several farmers of the district have now adopted “in line dripper” facility, which has nearly doubled production.
The advantage of the technique is that high yield could be obtained with minimum usage of water. Unlike the traditional flood irrigation, the new system sprinkles water uniformly even if the terrain is uneven. It also helps in applying fertilizers uniformly. “By installing a fertilizer chamber, fertilizers can be directly supplied through pipes itself. This will not only distribute fertilizers equally, but also help save labour cost”, according to the Deputy Director of the Horticulture Department, Kadire Gowda.
He said considering the benefit, the department had sought special permission to provide subsidy to encourage farmers to adopt the technique. With the grant of permission, Chitradurga became the first district in the State, where 75 per cent subsidy was being given to those who adopted this facility.
Vasudeva of Burujinarappa village in Hiriyur taluk is one among the farmers who made onion cultivation profitable by adopting the new irrigation system.
“Earlier, I was growing onion in three acres of land. With one borewell, I used to find it difficult to irrigate the crop. But now with the drip irrigation system, I am growing onion in five acres of land,” he said.
He said that the system had helped in harvesting good quality onions.
Mr. Kadire Gowda said onion was grown in 20,000 hectares of land in the district and the new technique was used to irrigate 100 acres of land.
With the traditional methods, farmers could harvest nearly seven tonnes of onion per acre for which they had to spend Rs. 20,000. “With the new system, farmer not only save up to Rs. 7,000 per acre, but also harvest over 10 tonnes of onion,” he added.
Though farmers are happy with the subsidy, they said that it should be given to at least two hectares of land instead of one, which would have helped them grow onion in a big way.