Optimal crop planning for conjunctive use of irrigation water in Punjab: A path towards sustainable development
Parminder Kaur, Jatinder Sachdeva
In the present study, an attempt has been made to develop optimum crop planning strategies to increase the productivity with minimum input cost, maximising net returns and significant savings of groundwater under the constraints of available resources like irrigation water, land and fertilizers etc. for Punjab state by using linear programming technique. The optimum crop model with existing water use conditions resulted that there will be net gain of Rs. 680 crores, Rs. 650 crores and Rs 17 crores at market prices, economic prices and natural resource valuation prices respectively. The results revealed that with 10 per cent reduction in current irrigation wateruse, the profit would decrease by 3.52 per cent, 3.53 per cent and 3.60 per cent respectively at the respective prices. The optimum crop model exhibited decline in gross cropped area by about 3 per cent each at all the prices and net loss was estimated of Rs. 989 crores, Rs. 740 crores and Rs. 1302 crores at market, economic and natural resource prices respectively. Whereas by using 80 per cent of current irrigation water usage in Punjab state there will be decrease in gross cropped area by 13.95 per cent, 12.98 per cent and 12.97 per cent at market prices, economic prices and NRV prices respectivelycausing net loss of Rs. 4047 crores, Rs. 3171 crores and Rs. 3682 crores at the respective prices. Thus, the study brought out that there is trade-off between water saving and profitability from the crops i.e. if water is to be saved, profits of the farmers would decline. Further, it was revealed that the efficiency of irrigation water could be increased by using water saving technologies such as laser land leveller and tensiometer etc.