Study on factors influencing the adoption of drip irrigation by farmers in humid tropical Kerala, India

Document Type: Research Paper


Water Management (Agriculture) Division, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kozhikode-673571, Kerala, India


Adoption of drip irrigation in Kerala State of India is very low and potential exists to
increase its adoption in the State. A field survey was conducted in two districts to determine the
major factors influencing farmers’ adoption of drip irrigation and to draw conclusions that will
help in developing policy and institutional interventions to encourage the adoption. The results
indicated that adoption index of farmers is higher in Kozhikode, when compared with the
Thrissur district. However, with respect to different crops, adoption index is not statistically
significant. Socioeconomic characteristics such as age, education, experience, land holding size,
etc. have a positive influence on drip irrigation adoption index by farmers. Farmers have
realized yield improvement in the range of about 13% to 47% through drip irrigation, when
compared to surface method of irrigation for arecanut, coconut and nutmeg. High productivity
and income from cultivation of crops like coconut, arecanut and nutmeg have acted as an
incentive to adopt the costly system of drip irrigation in the case of both Kozhikode and
Thrissur farmers. The number of drip irrigation components and type of emitters indicated a
significant and linear response for drip irrigation adoption. The reported constraints experienced
by farmers include rainfall, clogging of drippers, high initial cost, inadequate subsidy, difficulty
in getting subsidy, etc. This information will help to prioritize the factors that affect adoption
decisions and provide insights for improving the crop and water productivity.