Cabinet Nod to Extend Irrigation Scheme for Another Five Years

Prelims level : Agriculture, Ignorance, Subsidy, Marketing Mains level : GS-III Major crops Cropping Patterns in various parts of the Country, Different types of Irrigation and irrigation systems storage, Transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of Farmers.
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Why in News?

The Cabinet has recently given its approval to extend its umbrella scheme for irrigation, water supply, ground water and watershed development projects for another five years.

About the News:

  • According to Jal Shakti Ministry, less than half of identified irrigation projects have been completed since the scheme began in 2015.
  • The extension of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana till 2026 will cost ₹93,068 crore, benefit 22 lakh farmers and fund dams critical for water supply to Delhi and five other States in the upper Yamuna basin.
  • In 2015-16, 99 projects were identified which were completed more than 50% but had been pending for years. Of the 99 projects, 46 have been completed. The rest of the projects will be completed by 2024-25.
  • Har Khet Ko Pani, another component of the PMKSY, focuses on expanding physical access on farms and increasing the cultivable area under assured irrigation through surface water projects and by restoring water bodies. This is targeted to bring another 4.5 lakh hectares under irrigation by 2026.
  • The Cabinet has now expanded inclusion criteria for water body rejuvenation projects, including both urban and rural water bodies, and enhancing Central assistance from 25% to 60%.

About Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY):

  • Launched in 2015, PMKSY is a centrally sponsored scheme to provide assured irrigation to cultivated areas, reduce wastage of water and improve water-use efficiency.
  • It not only focuses on creating sources for assured irrigation but also aims to create protective irrigation by harnessing rainwater at the micro-level through “Jal Sanchay’’ and “Jal Sinchan”.
  • The scheme has been formulated by amalgamating other existing schemes like Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), and On Farm Water Management (OFWM).
  • Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources, and Rural Development are the implementing agencies of the scheme.
  • PMKSY is being implemented in an area development approach, adopting decentralized state-level planning and projectized execution, allowing the states to draw their irrigation development plans based on district/block plans with a horizon of 5 to 7 years. States can take up projects based on the District/State Irrigation Plan.
  • All the States and Union Territories including the North-Eastern States are covered under the program
  • The motto of the Scheme is ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’.
  • The funding pattern of the Scheme is 60:40 center-state share in the case of States, for the Himalayan and North-Eastern states, the center-state cost-share is 90:10, and for the Union Territories, 100% of the cost is borne by the Central Government.

Focus areas of the Scheme:

  • PMKSY will strategize by focussing on end-to-end solutions in the irrigation supply chain, viz. water sources, distribution network, efficient farm level applications, extension services on new technologies & information, etc. The major focus areas include,
  • Creation of new water sources; repair, restoration, and renovation of defunct water sources; construction of water harvesting structures, secondary & micro storage, groundwater development, enhancing potentials of traditional water bodies at the village level.Developing/augmenting distribution network where irrigation sources (both assured and protective) are available or Created.
  • Promotion of scientific moisture conservation and runoff control measures to improve Groundwater Recharge.
  • Promoting efficient water conveyance and field application devices within the farm viz, underground piping system, drip & sprinklers, pivots, rain-guns, and other application devices, etc.
  • Encouraging community irrigation through registered user groups/farmer producers’ organizations/NGOs.
  • Farmer-oriented activities like capacity building, training and exposure visits, demonstrations, farm schools, skill development in efficient water and crop management practices (crop alignment) including large scale awareness through mass media campaigns, exhibitions, field days, and extension activities through short animation films, etc.
  • More focus on irrigation development will be given to deficient states in terms of irrigation coverage.

Components of the Scheme:

  • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) focuses on faster completion of ongoing major and medium irrigation projects including national Projects.
  • PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani) focuses on the creation of new water sources through minor Irrigation (both surface and groundwater), repair, restoration, and renovation of water bodies; strengthening carrying capacity of traditional water sources, construction of rainwater harvesting structures; command area development, strengthening and creation of distribution network from source to farm, groundwater development in water-abundant areas, improvement in the water management and distribution system, diversion of water from water-abundant to water-deficient areas and creation and rejuvenation of traditional water storage systems.
  • PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop) focuses on maximizing water use efficiency at the farm level through program management, promotion of efficient water conveyance, precision water application devices, and water-lifting devices. Construction of micro-irrigation structures, secondary storage structures, conducting extension activities for the promotion of scientific moisture conservation and agroeconomic measures, capacity building, training, and awareness campaign, and information technology interventions are other measures to promote water use efficiency.
  • PMKSY (Watershed Development) focuses on effective management of runoff water and improved soil & moisture conservation activities, construction of water harvesting structures, and convergence with MGNREGS for the creation of a water-source to full potential in identified backward rainfed blocks including renovation of traditional water bodies.

Implementation Framework

  • PMKSY follows a “decentralized” three-tiered institutional structure with High-Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) at the Central level, State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) at the State level, and District Level Implementation Committee (DLIC) at the district level besides dynamic involvement of other stakeholders.
  • At the national level, National Steering Committee (NSC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) are the key committees that oversee the implementation of programs, allocate resources, undertake monitoring and performance assessment, etc.
  • At the State level, the State Department of Agriculture is the nodal department for implementation of the program.
  • At the district level, the District Level Implementation Committee (DLIC) oversees the implementation of PMKSY.
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