Over many millennia, India has been an agricultural country. Statistics suggest that more than 50% of the combined workforce is engaged in some form of agriculture. India is also one of the leading exporters of cereals, grains and dry fruits to several countries.
Despite these advantages, India has often faced hurdles in the form of low crop yield, untimely harvests, unpredictable monsoons and pest attacks. Most of these problems have been largely overcome by traditional methods of irrigation.
These old irrigation methods are not yet obsolete. Vast chunks of India’s farms use these methods to ensure proper seed germination, better yield of crops and accelerated growth of food crops.
These conventional methods of irrigation also waste less water and are environment-friendly.
What is Traditional Method of Irrigation?
Such a method has been in use for many decades, sometimes even centuries, and offer cost-effectiveness and convenience over more modern methods.
In India, There are Four Traditional Methods of Irrigation. They are the Following.
Check Basin Method
This method depends on water availability. The farming land is divided into a number of basins, each of which is connected via a mini-drain. Water is stored on the highest point of the land. From there, these drains originate. This form of traditional irrigation has been around for centuries.
Check basin irrigation is used mostly after monsoons, when the basin is full. This type of inexpensive irrigation also requires minimal maintenance or investment. Plus, it also guards against soil erosion.
Find out why soil erosion is so dangerous. You can also write short notes on such erosion and show it to your friends and teachers.
Strip Irrigation method
Here, the farmland is divided into a number of strips. Such strips are separated by a ‘med’, which means a boundary. The length of each strip depends on the land’s angle of slope plus the location of the reservoir. Such a method requires minimal investment and labour.
Note that strip irrigation may not be compatible with all manners of crops.
Whenever crops are grown in rows, furrow irrigation comes handy. It is often used in horticulture. This type can also lead to better irrigation of larger tracts of land. Agriculturists have stated that despite newer technologies like drip and sprinkler systems, furrow irrigation remains the best bet among both traditional and modern methods of irrigation.
This type has multiple sub-types including corrugated, contour and sloppy furrow. Each of these sub-types is specialised for certain kinds of crops or land-types.
This method of traditional irrigation is not used for growing crops. Instead, it is used to irrigate rows of bushes and taller trees. A raised platform, usually made of clay or concrete, is created very close to where these trees are. Drains are then dug so that they can receive water.
The use of basin irrigation is on the decline since there have been reports of too much water-loss while irrigating smaller tracts.
What are Some Types of Modern Irrigation?
In India, sprinkler, pot and drip irrigation methods are rapidly being used to save resources while also ensuring a steady supply of water to arable land. While sprinkler systems originated in Western countries where groundwater levels were low, it has subsequently spread across the world due to its efficiency.
DIY task for advanced students: You can determine which of these traditional irrigation methods consume or waste the maximum water. It is quite simple. Visit the official website of the Central Ministry of Agriculture; you will get detailed reports on how many hectares of land are currently under cultivation, and other related data including irrigation method use.
This data will also help you create first-class traditional methods of irrigation PPT.