Improvement in efficiency of irrigation projects vital: Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Dec 11(ANI): Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that improvement in efficiency of irrigation projects through technology upgradation, better operation and maintenance is vital for the development of the country's economy.

Addressing the 5th Asian Regional Conference and 60th International Executive Council on "Improvement in Efficiency of Irrigation Projects" in the national capital, Mukherjee said: "We recognize the criticality of irrigation and its efficient use to revitalize our agriculture. In a sense irrigation along with agriculture and rural development holds the key for the transformation of rural India."

"Irrigation is the lifeline of agriculture and farming. A well planned irrigation infrastructure can mitigate the risk arising out of fluctuating rainfall. Hence, it is essential that nationally and globally, we accord the right importance to irrigation, so that food needs of the growing population are met," he added.

He also said that the availability of proper and adequate irrigation facilities is a sine-qua-non of a reliable infrastructure for agriculture.

"It is an important pre requisite for modernization of agriculture and for increasing the agriculture productivity. Augmenting investment in irrigation projects is therefore important not only because of the erratic monsoon, but also for sustaining agriculture production and for food management," Mukherjee said.

"In a country like India, it is well understood that irrigation facilities provide for better utilization of water in times of normal monsoons. If there is a failure or intermittent monsoon, then also the irrigation strategy is of critical importance, as monsoon failure can result in loss of crops in rain-fed agriculture, but this may not be the case with irrigated agriculture," he added. (ANI)

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