- The Hyderabad-based Centre for Environment Concerns (CEC), a non-governmental organisation, has been implementing a unique irrigation technology called System of Water for Agriculture Rejuvenation (SWAR), aimed at transforming the irrigation system.
- SWAR stands for System of Water for Agricultural Rejuvenation.
- The system shifts the process of irrigation from the application of water at the surface to the gradual application of moisture at the plant root zone, which enables economic irrigation and helps create a soil ecosystem that nurtures micro-organisms and makes the soil fertile.
- The process involves storing water in overhead tanks and sending it through a small diameter pipe to a customised locally-made clay pot that is buried near the root area.
- This technique is useful in drought-prone, semi-arid regions marked by poor irrigation availability.
- Advantages of SWAR include:
- Results indicate that water requirements are one-quarter to one-fifth of those prescribed for drip irrigation.
- Soil moisture remained for over a week after irrigating.
- Reduced weed growth as there was no water on the soil surface.
- Also, soil organisms grew well, likely as a result of the enabling environment of oxygen and moisture in the soil.
- Optimum use of water, combined with healthy farming practices such as soil improvements, will make agriculture in India more sustainable and offer improved incomes to smallholder farmers. Hence, the need to shift to innovative aspects like SWAR, than being subsidy and rain dependent.