The problem of water scarcity is rampant globally, creating the urgent need for water conservation. The use of micro irrigation systems is expected to result in increased crop yields in terms of volume and quality. The other important benefits of using micro irrigation systems include expansion in the area under irrigation, water conservation, optimum use of fertilizers and chemicals through water, and decreased labor costs among others.
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The worldwide population is increasing at a rapid rate and it is imperative that food supply keeps pace with this increasing population. Agriculture industry is adversely affected by a significant decrease in the ground water levels; hence, there is a need to locate efficient ways of supplying water to meet agricultural needs and conserve water for future use. Micro irrigation systems are the best option to achieve this purpose. It can be broadly categorized as sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation; center pivot irrigation, and lateral move irrigation are the other types of sprinkler irrigation that are currently gaining popularity. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of irrigation, with efficiencies ranging between 90%-95%.
The global micro irrigation systems market is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture industry. The growth of this market is fueled by the government initiatives for adoption of micro irrigation systems in order to conserve water for future use. The growth of micro irrigation systems is particularly higher in Asia Pacific and Africa due to the increased problems of water scarcity, and farmer awareness towards increasing the crop yield with the help of micro irrigation systems. Out of the total 69 million hectares of cultivated area in India, only 5 million hectares is under drip and sprinkler irrigation. This represents strong potential for the growth of micro irrigation systems in this region.
Crop protection expense is the second highest expense after fertilizers in overall farming expenses. These expenses can be considerably reduced with the techniques called fertigation and chemigation that are incorporated with micro irrigation systems. In areas other than scarce water problems, these methods have proved to be winning imperatives for the expansion of micro irrigation systems and are the most efficient and effective way of protecting the crop from biotic and abiotic factors.
Currently, sprinkler irrigation system is the largest segment of the micro irrigation systems market. Sprinkler irrigation system is quite cost effective compared to the drip irrigation system, hence, mostly preferred by small farmers. The major components of sprinkler system include tubing/pipes, pumping unit, fitting/sprinkler head, and coupler.
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Of all these components, pumping unit is the most costly component; however, it can be used for other applications also. Within the core sprinkler irrigation components, lateral pipes add to the overall cost of sprinkler systems. The components of drip irrigation are tubing, backflow preventers, valves, filters, and pressure regulators. Per unit price of backflow preventers is the highest among all the components used in drip irrigation; however, within the complete system, tubing adds to the overall cost. Similarly, major components of center-pivot irrigation system include water emitters, pipelines, central towers, and system control panels. Among these components, the per unit price of central tower and system control panels is comparatively high; however, depending on the area to be irrigated, the total cost of pipelines may exceed the cost of tower and panels.
The report on the global micro irrigation systems analyzes this market based on the major micro irrigation types, crop types, application areas, and major geographies that include North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. The report provides complete analysis of the factors responsible for driving and restraining the global micro irrigation systems market.
Israel based Netafim is leading the global micro irrigation systems market followed by an Indian company called Jain Irrigation. Both these players, in combination, accounted for more than 50% market share in 2012. Other important players in the micro irrigation systems market include John Deere & Company, EPC Industries, Valmont Industries, and Rain Bird among others.
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