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World Water Day 2022: Big Industry Experts came together to Discuss ‘Sustainable Use of Water in Agriculture’

FMC & Krishi Jagran organized a webinar on the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March 2022 with the theme “Sustainable Use of Water in Agriculture”, 3.00 PM onwards. Many eminent speakers were invited to address this webinar including star personalities from the industry.

Sugandh Bhatnagar
A still from the Live session!
A still from the Live session!

Water is one of the most important inputs for Agriculture Production and plays a very important role in achieving food security. FMC, an agriculture sciences company understands its importance and therefore, FMC & Krishi Jagran organized a webinar on the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March 2022 with the theme “Sustainable Use of Water in Agriculture”, 3.00 PM onwards.

The recording of the live session is available on Krishi Jagran’s Official Facebook page.

Many eminent speakers were invited to address this webinar including star personalities from the industry. Raju Kapoor, the Director (Corporate Affairs), FMC India was the moderator of the webinar.

He started the discussion with the phrase “Water is the elixir of life” hence highlighting the importance of water & its conservation. He stressed the immediate need to adopt effective & sustainable use of available freshwater for the agriculture sector. “Per Drop More Crop”, a slogan given by PM Narendra Modi should be idealized for Agriculture production to become more sustainable, he added.

Moving on, he invited the guests one by one to present their views. First in the list of speakers was a Progressive woman farmer, Suman Sharma sharing her opinions on the theme. She highlighted the importance of Rainwater harvesting and encouraged people to do so. She also discussed the benefits of sprinkle irrigation for achieving better water use efficiency.

While sharing his views and perspectives with the dignitaries, Dharam Singh Meena, Addl. Secretary Forest & Environment Govt. of Uttarakhand, Dehradun highlighted the potential water crisis in hilly areas of India that is dawning upon us. He said, “Several natural water bodies across hilly areas have dried up leading to a crisis in villages. Almost 60% of all water sources have dried up in the hills. Water scarcity in some districts has been so acute that it has forced villagers to migrate to some other places.”

Meena added, “There is a need to take action for water conservation rather than just spreading awareness. We must start taking actionable efforts for the conservation of water. At the same time, we should highlight the importance of water springs in hilly regions. He also highlighted several measures for water conservation.”

Dr P Raja, Principal Scientist at ICAR- Indian Institute of Soil & Water Conservation, said we must stop overexploitation of water resource in agriculture and highlighted that there is lack of implementation of available technologies in Agriculture that can help save this percious resource.

Dr. M Madhu, Director of ICAR-IISWC, Dehradun emphasized the need to conserve water, especially rainwater for future use.

Speaking about the life-sustaining element, Dr. Madhu said that we must consider water as a holy substance as it is a basic necessity of every living being. This fact alone should make water conversation our top priority.

He pointed out that India receives approximately 2 meters of rainfall every year which is enough for our lives. However, we get this amount of rain in a short period, which makes it crucial for us to conserve it so that it lasts all year long and does not result in a flood.

He also advised farmers and growers to plant one tree in every field as planting trees in the area helps to conserve the rainwater and raise groundwater levels. This conserved groundwater can now be used throughout the year for irrigation and common use.

He shared another piece of advice with the farmers. He asked farmers to grow multiple crops; this does not only help in the preservation of groundwater and drinking water quality but also restores soil nutrition.

Dr Sangita Ladha, Business director, Rivulis Irrigation India Pvt. Ltd. started by quoting Mahatma Gandhi. “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

Continuing her talk, she pointed out the fact that water is finite and between the years 2025 to 2050, we will find ourselves in a situation where water will be high in demand but very low in supply. While explaining the current situation of water availability, Dr. Ladha said that the water has become like oil in the near future.  

She emphasized that drip and sprinkler irrigation methods as well as rainwater harvesting are the keys to achieving water conservation. She said there is enough water, what is scarce is water management which we need to actively practice.

Rajendra K Jain, Deputy General Manager, Pluga Pumps & Motors Pvt Ltd. highlighted the importance of proper pumping equipment for groundwater extraction. He said, “Pumping water from the ground is a very energy-consuming process and when we talk about efficiency, the energy efficiency required for ground water extraction cannot be forgotten.”

Vedant Goel, Neo Mega Steel LLP started his speech by supporting the opinions of Raju Kapoor, Dr M Madhu & Dr. Sangita Ladha. Later on, he went to explain their project “Water Dada”. through which they are saving almost 40,000 liters of water every day.

Vedant & team want to bring a change in the thinking pattern of children. And for this they install huge water drums outside the schools so that the students can pour the unused water into it and the water collected can be used for various purposes.

The water dada has already influenced millions of people of the nation and is now marching outside Maharashtra; taking up this water conservation initiative to the national level, spreading awareness of its big picture and achieving further milestones of saving tons of water every day.

Srinivas Malladi, Founder & CEO, Agrirain Agro Industries Pvt Ltd started by putting forth some very interesting facts! He told the panel that the cost of water per inch is very high when using Drip irrigation systems (almost Rs 1100) when compared to the profit that the farmers are gaining after installing such technologies. He emphasized that we need to find a middle ground where we can use water efficiently while using such expensive technologies and the cost has not to be borne by the farmers.

Setu Shah, Founder & CEO, Sujalaam, emphasized that the key to achieving water sustainability lies in its proper management. He said “Unfortunately, In India, rainwater is treated as drain water. We must save this water using various simple, traditional rainwater harvesting methods. There is no need for any other sophisticated technologies.

Vimal Panjawani, Founder & CEO, Agrivijay, educated the audience about the "Water to Energy Connection". He said “the pumping equipment needs are different for farmers from different areas. For example, a farmer from Rajasthan needs a different water pump from that of a Maharashtra farmer as the groundwater levels are different in these two areas and unfortunately, farmers are not educated on this aspect. As a result, when they are installing the water pumps indiscriminately, they are not only wasting water but also energy.”

He further highlighted the benefits of Biogas digesters and how the farmers can mix the fertilizers along with the biogas slurry and spread it in the field. This has triple benefits;

  • The water requirement of the field is met.

  • It takes care of the fertilizer requirement

  • Also enhances the overall health of the soil

Lastly, Zulfikar S Varawalla, Managing Partner, Sarin Industries, highlighted the importance of water by saying, "Jal Hai To Aaj Hai" instead of the usual phrase "Jal Hai To Kal Hai" meaning our existence is only possible because of water. It is a basic necessity for any living form to survive on earth and today, when there is a threat of water shortage in most regions of the country, we need to address this issue and find a solution for it. Further, he went on to explain how the products of his company are helping to conserve water and increase the agricultural output and efficiency by enhancing the water quality.

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