Sprinkler Irrigation System Cost: Analysis Per Acre, Hectare, and Square Foot in India

Sprinkler irrigation systems are an efficient way to water crops, especially in India’s varied climates. The cost of these systems varies depending on the area to be covered: per acre, hectare, or square foot. This blog will explore into the specifics of these costs, providing an insightful analysis for Indian farmers and agriculturists. We aim to present clear, accurate data to help you understand the investment needed for a sprinkler irrigation system in India, making your decision-making process easier and more informed.

Sprinkler Irrigation System Cost

Sprinkler Irrigation System Requirements

A sprinkler irrigation system simulates natural rainfall by dispersing water through sprinkler heads. These systems require a connection to a main water source and a pumping mechanism to generate pressure. This setup enables the sprinklers to distribute water over a circular area of agricultural land evenly. Understanding the requirements for installing such a system is crucial for effective planning and budgeting, especially when considering the costs per acre for implementation.

Essential Requirements for a One-Acre Sprinkler Irrigation System

A reliable water supply system is essential, including a water tank connected to an external supply or groundwater. A high-quality control valve manages water flow and ensures durability under heavy pressure. An electric motor pump extracts water from the ground, connecting it to the control valve via PVC pipes. A pressure gauge monitors water pressure, detects motor issues, and adjusts the supply system. A water filter removes sand, impurities, and dust from the water, which is connected to the ARB using PVC pipes. These filters are readily available in markets.

Factors Affecting Sprinkler Irrigation System Cost in India

The size of the land, the kind of sprinklers used, the source of water, the availability of subsidies, and the installation and maintenance costs are just a few of the variables that affect sprinkler irrigation system costs. The International Water Management Institute reports that the capital investment for sprinkler irrigation systems ranges from Rs. 20,000 to 55,000 per hectare, depending on the crop type and material used. The annual operation and maintenance costs also vary.

The type of sprinkler used also plays a role, with different kinds offering different advantages and disadvantages in terms of water distribution, energy consumption, installation, and maintenance. The cost of water also depends on factors like availability, quality, and distance from the land. The availability of subsidies, such as those provided by the Government of India, also influences the cost of sprinkler irrigation systems. The installation and maintenance charges also play a role, with prices varying depending on the quality and reliability of service providers and their proximity to the land.

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Irrigation system in function

Sprinkler Irrigation Costs Per Acre

ItemCost (INR)
Water Tank8,000
Motor Pump8,000
Pressure Gauge800
Control Valve5,000
Water Filter2,000
ARB1,500
Supply Pipeline5,000
Lateral Pipe9,000
Sprinkler Heads8,000
Gate Valves2,000
Other Expenses5,000
Labor Cost7,000
Total Cost61,300

Determining the Cost of Sprinkler Irrigation Systems Per Hectare

Sprinkler irrigation systems, which use sprinklers to spray water over crops, can save water, increase crop yield, and reduce soil erosion. However, they require high initial investment, maintenance, and energy costs. The cost of these systems per hectare in India varies depending on factors like the type of system, area size, water source, equipment quality, and available subsidies. 

The average cost ranges from 1.23 lakh INR to 1.5 lakh INR, depending on local conditions and market prices. The Indian government offers financial assistance or subsidies to farmers for installing sprinkler irrigation systems under the Per Drop More Crop scheme, with a subsidy rate of 55% for small and marginal farmers and 45% for other farmers. The subsidy amount is directly transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account after installation verification.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership for Sprinkler Irrigation Systems

The total cost of ownership (TCO) for sprinkler irrigation systems in India is determined by both installation and operational costs over time. Operational costs include water, electricity, labor, and fertilizer, while maintenance costs include repairs, cleaning, and servicing. These costs depend on factors like system type, frequency, water quality, and climatic conditions. India Infrastructure estimates that the average annual operational and maintenance costs for sprinkler irrigation systems in India are 0.15 lakh INR per hectare.

To evaluate the TCO, one must add up installation, operational, and maintenance costs over time. For instance, assuming an installation cost of 1.5 lakh INR per hectare, an annual operational and maintenance cost of 0.15 lakh INR per hectare, a 55% subsidy rate, and a 10-year lifespan, the TCO for sprinkler irrigation systems in India is approximately 2.18 lakh INR.

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Sprinkler watering flower garden

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership for Sprinkler Irrigation Systems

The total cost of ownership for sprinkler irrigation systems includes installation, operational, and maintenance costs. Operational costs depend on factors like water availability, electricity tariff, pump efficiency, and irrigation frequency. Maintenance costs are influenced by material quality, component wear and tear, and repair frequency.

A study by Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. found that the average operational and maintenance costs for sprinkler irrigation systems in India are about 10% of the installation costs per year. For a system with an installation cost of 61,300 INR per acre and a lifespan of 10 years, the total cost of ownership would be 122,600 INR per acre.

Subsidy for Sprinkler Irrigation System in Indian Agriculture

The Indian government offers financial assistance to small and marginal farmers at 55% and 45% of the indicative unit cost for installing sprinkler irrigation systems under the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) scheme. The total cost of sprinkler irrigation system installation is 61,300 INR per acre, which can be converted to 151,500 INR per hectare and 1.4 INR per square foot using conversion factors.

Total Cost of Sprinkler Irrigation System 

Type of SystemCost per Acre (INR)Cost per Hectare (INR)Cost per Square Foot (INR)
Conventional Sprinkler40,000 – 60,00099,000 – 148,5009 – 14
Micro Sprinkler60,000 – 80,000148,500 – 198,00014 – 18
Drip Irrigation80,000 – 100,000198,000 – 247,50018 – 23

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Watering crops with Irrigation system using sprinklers in a cultivated field

Conclusion

The cost of installing a sprinkler irrigation system in India varies by type and size. For one acre, it averages 61,300 INR. The expenses scale up with the area, reaching different costs per hectare and square foot. Understanding these costs is crucial for farmers planning to invest in efficient irrigation methods.

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