Narendra Modi urges farmers to grow low water-intensive crops
New Delhi: Launching the Atal Bhujal Yojna (ABY), Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here on Wednesday, urged farmers to change old irrigation methods and use technology to prevent wastage of water in agriculture and grow crops that consumed less water.
Farmers must also be aware of rainwater harvesting, alternative crops, move towards micro-irrigation and adopt 'Per drop, more crop' moto to change the situation, Modi said.
"Crops like paddy and sugarcane consume lots of water, which depletes the groundwater. To change this, farmers need to be aware of rainwater harvesting, water recycling and other conservation techniques," the Prime Minister said.
Modi thanked the Haryana government for encouraging farmers to experiment with crops that consumed less water. "This should be replicated throughout the country. 'Per drop, more crop' is the way forward." Modi said.
Under the ABY, gram panchayats that will help preserve water will get more funds to do more good work. Urging the 8,300 sarpanches associated with the ABY, Modi said, "Your success will not only make the scheme successful but will also strengthen the Water Life Mission (WLM)".
The ABY, a central government scheme to be implemented over five years, aims to improve ground water management through the community participation in even states.
Stating that subject of water was close to late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's heart, Modi said the ABY or the guidelines related to the WLM were steps to deliver water to every household by 2024.
The Prime Minister said the government had been working on various levels to deal with water scarcity. "Water crisis is worrying for us as a family, a citizen and a country. It affects development. To deal with it, we are working on five levels," he said.
"First, we broke the silos of water-related departments. Second, we emphasised on schemes as per the situation of every region. Third, attention is being paid to correct storage and distribution. Fourth, for use of each drop of water, recycling has been made priority. Fifth, we are creating awareness and public participation," Modi said.
The Jalshakti Ministry has stressed comprehensive approach on conservation and made extensive efforts this monsoon on behalf of the society.
He said while the WLM aimed at supplying piped water to every home, the ABY would pay special attention to areas where the groundwater was very low. "The scheme will go a long way in raising the ground water in seven states -- Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat," he said.
In 78 districts of these states, the groundwater level in over 8,300 panchayats was in a critical state, Modi said. To improve water level, we would have to conduct awareness campaigns and use technology, like artificial intelligence (AI), he said.
"Most importantly, we need to emphasise on water conservation and promotion to use every drop of water properly," the Prime Minister said.