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 Climate Change

Water
Published on: Feb. 14, 2020, 11:50 p.m.
SWAR or the System for Water and Agriculture Replenishment helps farmers in drought-prone regions
  • The system is retrofittable into existing drip irrigation systems, depositing moisture underground near the plant’s root. Credit: SWAR

By Business India Editorial

SWAR or the System for Water and Agriculture Replenishment helps farmers in drought-prone regions decrease water consumption by 50-70 per cent as compared to the most efficient drip irrigation systems, while at the same time improving plant and soil quality. Santana Gopal Komandur co-developed the system with farmers in the drought-prone regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Over the past seven years, Gopal and his associates have tested numerous versions of the product to perfect the system.

SWAR focuses on moisture to replenish agricultural plants at their roots and in the soil. The system is retrofittable into the existing drip irrigation systems, depositing moisture underground near the plant’s root, thereby ensuring water is not lost to evaporation, water is received by the plant at its roots (and not surrounding weeds) and increases the quality of soil by nurturing essential micro-organisms.

The product is specifically designed for fruit trees, horticulture, flowers and spices. It is not meant for rice, wheat and similar staple crops. Farmers who use the SWAR system experience both improved crop yield and quality, while reducing costs. The SWAR system reduces or eliminates tree death during extreme drought, reduces the need for tanker water, and reduces labour costs for weeding and watering.

Farmers using the product are its greatest ambassadors. Many fruit orchard farmers who have taken up swar’s technology have seen tremendous improvement in the quality of their trees and yield. Through their interaction with swar and its team, they have been able to regain their income and relationship with their livelihoods, especially in the driest of months. 

Santana Gopal Komandur has invested his long career to finding a viable solution for farmers in drought-prone areas. His technology has been developed through tried and tested methods in partnership with reputed institutions and government programmes such as the nregs. Gopal’s water replenishment technology might be first of a series of technologies that can support farmers through the changing patterns in climate and agricultural demand.

*Co-authored by Starlene Sharma, advisor to start-ups and investors


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