N P Singh and Ellora Mubashir
In May 2019, Ayyaz of village Golpuri in Nuh district of Haryana attended a community meeting of a development project managed by S M Sehgal Foundation, where he learned about the multiple benefits of laser land leveling. He decided to try this practice on one acre of his two-acre land. Out of the total cost of renting, which is INR 2,250 for laser leveling one acre of his farm, he received support of INR 800 from the project, as he was a first-time implementor, and it would be a demonstration for other farmers.
After implementing laser land leveling, Ayyaz shares that this practice reduced the cost and time of irrigation by about half. Earlier it used to take him 10–11 hours to irrigate his one-acre wheat field once, which cost him INR 90 per hour, and he had to undertake five such irrigations, which cost him a total of INR 4,500. After laser leveling, it took him only six hours to irrigate the field, which resulted in saving INR 1,800. This technique also improved the crop productivity due to the even distribution of water and fertilizers in the field.
Ayyaz says, “Before adopting this intervention, the yield from my wheat crop was 6 quintals/ acre, and I earned INR 15,000 from the wheat and straw. After laser leveling, I harvested 8 quintals of wheat and earned INR 17,800 from the wheat and straw. Therefore, I earned INR 2,800 more from the crop and saved INR 1,800 in terms of irrigation, so the total benefit I received was INR 4,600/acre through an investment of INR 1,450 for renting the machine. Now I am convinced of the benefits of this technique and plan to laser level the rest of my land as well.”
(N P Singh is program lead, Agriculture Development and Ellora Mubashir is communications specialist, Partnerships at S M Sehgal Foundation)