Speaking at an event here on Saturday, Popatrao Pawar also called for cultivating crops based on climate or crop patterning and putting an end to flood irrigation, a common process of irrigation across India.
“The success of drip irrigation in Israel is due to all consideration being given to the farmers’ requirements,” said Pawar at the IIMPACT 2019, a PAN IIM Alumni conference. In India, the drip irrigation system is industry-designed with no input from farmer, he said.
Pawar’s water conservation in Hiware Bazar village of Maharashtra helped improve the water table level by 35-40 feet.
He led the Bazar’s transformation from a drought-prone village to a green and prosperous model village. His water conservation model is being taught at institutions such as Pune University and IIT Delhi.
Pawar said he convinced his village farmers to skip one season of Rabbi crop and save water. “This resulted in everybody taking a rest and holidays, the fields’ fertility improved by going through fallow process and immense savings of water and power,” he said.
“More than 80 per cent of these districts are adopting the Hiware Bazar model to conserve water,” said Pawar, who has travelled to China, Israel and Malaysia among other countries sharing his knowledge of water conservation.