Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday called for conservation of water to improve the economic condition of farmers in the country.
He said much of the water problem can be solved if we learn to conserve and use the water available with wisdom.
"The acute shortage of water and lack of innovation and diversification in farming and other related activities are the main reasons responsible for the poor economic conditions of farmers in the country, " said Gadkari speaking at a national seminar "Challenges of Policy Reforms in India" on liberating farmers from debt trap.
Emphasising that the irrigation infrastructure in the country is grossly insufficient, he said: "The increased funding for the 89 languishing AIBP (Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programmes) and other irrigation schemes are appreciable. "
He stressed upon the need to build check - dams to maintain the draft of rivers and streams.
Gadkari called upon state governments to increase their funding for irrigation and gave the example of Madhya Pradesh where increased irrigation spending has resulted in higher productivity.
He said: "The Jal Marg Vikas project on river Ganga and the development of the other 111 recently declared National Waterways would go a long way in raising the water table and making water available for irrigation. "
"Research efforts should be made to bring in innovative technology to make best use of locally available products including waste, " said Gadkari.