Investment decision model for drip irrigation system

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Drip irrigation is becoming popular in India although the decision to shift to drip irrigation from surface irrigation is not backed up by solid economic factors. It is not that the factors do not justify the shift, but that insufficient study has been done to document the conditions under which a change is justified. The investment decision for shifting to drip irrigation will depend upon many factors; including cost of cultivation, productivity, yield gain factor, cost of produce, electricity charges, depth of groundwater and irrigation requirement. These parameters vary from crop to crop, place to place, size of plot, and farmer to farmer. Therefore a sweeping recommendation suitable for all conditions cannot be made. In view of this, a software program has been developed for estimating the threshold economic value of the investment cost of drip irrigation. In addition to the threshold value of investment cost, the software provides information on energy consumption and net return. The software can be used both for annual crops such as sugarcane or seasonal crops such as vegetable rotations (winter-summer). To demonstrate the interdependence of various input parameters, an analysis has been made using local data in this software. The analysis has provided the relationship between the investment cost and the yield gain factor, the returns from the crop, as well as the savings in energy and the size of the prime mover with regard to the size of the farm.

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