Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Effect of Drip and Surface Irrigation on Yield, Wateruse- Efficiency and Economics of Capsicum (Capsicum Annum L.) Grown under Mulch and Non Mulch Conditions in Eastern Coastal India

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Effect of Drip and Surface Irrigation on Yield, Wateruse- Efficiency and Economics of Capsicum (Capsicum Annum L.) Grown under Mulch and Non Mulch Conditions in Eastern Coastal India

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Presently in India 7.49 million ha area is cultivated with vegetable with an annual production of 116.03 million tonnes. It is estimated that, by 2020 the vegetable demand of the country would be around 135 million tonnes. To achieve this target, attention must be focused on the vertical expansion, strengthened with the boon of the technology instead of horizontal expansion just by increasing the crop area (Rai and Pandey, 2008). The working group on horticulture constituted by the Planning Commission has recommended the deployment of hi-tech horticulture and precision farming for achieving vertical growth in horticulture. Hi-tech interventions in horticultural crops proposed by National Committee on Plasticulture Applications in Horticulture (NCPAH), Govt, of India include drip irrigation and greenhouse technology and the crops selected are capsicum, chilli, tomato and flowers like rose, carnation and gerbera (Samuel and Singh, 2004). Drip irrigation with its ability to small and frequent applications of water has created interest among the farmers because of less water requirement, increased production and better quality produce. Economic evaluation of drip irrigation in fruit crops (coconut, mango and sapota) in Orissa reveales that, this system conserves considerable amount of water and results better returns despite higher initial investment (Behera and Sahoo, 1998). The response of tomato and okra to drip irrigation in terms of yield improvement is found to be different in different agro-climatic and soil conditions in India (Shrivastava et al, 1994; Tiwari et al, 1998a; 1998b; Horo et al, 2003; Singh, 2007; Vankar and Shinde, 2007). Use of soil cover and mulching is also known to be beneficial chiefly through their influence on soil moisture conservation, solarization and control of weeds. Beneficial response of plants to mulch includes early production, more yield and reduced insect and disease problems (Tiwari et al, 1998a; Pattanaik et al, 2003). Linear Low Density Poly Ethylene (LLDPE) plastic films have been proved as better mulch because of their puncture resistance quality, thinness and lower cost (Panda, 2004).

Capsicum (Capsicum annum L.) or bell pepper is an important cool season vegetable crop of India. It is richer in vitamins than tomato, especially in A and C. In India, it is grown mainly during the cooler parts of the year (autumn-winter) when the temperature is low (Singh et al, 1993). The production of this crop is affected adversely by moisture deficit. Productivity of the crop can be increased by adopting improved package of practices, particularly in-sitn moisture conservation by mulching as well as high-tech irrigation especially drip irrigation with appropriate irrigation scheduling. Numerous experiments have reported the benefits of black LLDPE mulch in several crops, but research is limited on response of capsicum production by this method. Keeping this in background, the present study was undertaken to study the effect of drip irrigation system and plastic mulch on capsicum crop and compare the result with the conventional method of growing the crop under surface irrigation without mulch.

2. Materials and methods

A field experiment was conducted at Precision Farming Development Centre experimental site located at Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India. The soil of the area is loamy sand and acidic in nature having pH of 6.2. Capsicum seedlings (variety California Wonder) of 25 days were planted with a spacing of 60 cm χ 45 cm during 1st week of November during the year 2007 and 2008. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design having eight treatments replicated thrice with a plot size of 4.5 m χ 1.2 m. One metre gap was provided between each plot to avoid effect of irrigation treatment. The treatment details are as follows:

T1 = 100% irrigation requirement through drip irrigation (VD)

T2 = 80% irrigation requirement through drip irrigation (0. …

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