With global warming and the burgeoning population placing a tremendous pressure on the amount of water available for agriculture, students and faculty members of the Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute in Kumulur have set up a demonstrative irrigation farm on their campus.
Spread over two and a half acres, the irrigation farm is used exclusively for the purposes of education, training and research. Set up about five months ago by the students and faculty members of the Department of Soil Water Conservation, the farm displays a variety of irrigation methods along with the crops that can benefit from particular models.
“The farm has demarcated portions of land that are irrigated by micro sprinklers, sprinklers, rain guns, drip irrigators and sub-surface irrigators,” said S. Somasundaram, Assistant Professor, Agronomy. The concept behind the farm is based on a course that Mr.Somasundaram completed in Israel recently.
Some of the advantages of using these irrigation methods include conservation of water up to 50- 60 percent, economic usage of fertilizers, suitability to all soil types and usage of salt water for irrigation among others.
Talking about the crops that each of the irrigation method supports, the faculty members K. Nagarajan and Mr. Somasundaram said: “Micro sprinklers can be used on fields where small crops like groundnut, onion and radish are grown; sprinklers (which can be used on lawns too) are used for black gram, green gram, groundnut and vegetables; rain guns can irrigate crops like sugarcane, vegetables, black gram, green gram and fodder crops; drip irrigation can be used along with vegetables, sunflower, all gourds, maize and watermelon and sub-surface drip irrigation can be used to water banana plantations.”
The farm hopes to be a model using which students of agriculture, farmers, irrigation engineers and the concerned government department officials can be trained.