Laser Land Leveling In India: A Success

M.L. Jat & HS Sidhu
M.Jat@cgiar.org; www.cimmyt.org

Global Conservation Agriculture Program (GCAP) International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)

Outline of presentation
• The 1990’s of Indian Agriculture • Technological advancement/solutions • The LLL technology: Brief history • Research results/pilots • Supply chain • New innovations • Impacts • Lessons learnt

The 1990’s of Indian Agriculture
• Rice and wheat together accounts ~ 90% of cereal production in SA • Since 1970’s, RW system emerged as food security system • Average yield increases in rice and wheat during 19701990 were ~2% yr-1 • Realization of second generation problems of GR- decline

FP, water, soil health, P. minor-decline in yield growth
• Escalating input costs, shrinking farm profitability-

farming unattractive
• Sustainable food security is a issue • New technological options- RCTs (ZT in wheat, bed planting etc) • RWC (May, 1994)- Joint regional initiative of NARS and CGIAR

Zero Tillage in Wheat:
Shown the way for infusion of out-of-box thinking on technologies • On-farm testing of zero-tillage with the Aitcheson drill began in the 1990-91 • Pant Nagar drill-1991-92 • Pant Nagar drill with “Inverted T opener” • Commercial versions of zero-till drills- National • Large scale demonstrations (1995-96) • Addressed several issues-timely planting, save cost, energy, water ------ higher yields, reduce emissions etc Still issues of adoption• mindset • variable results
Source: Ladha et al (2009), IRRI-ADB-RWC Publ

Traditional mindset:
How traditional land leveling contributed to that in case of ZT

Di sta nc e( m)

320.00 319.00 318.00 317.00 316.00 315.00 314.00 313.00 312.00 311.00 310.00 309.00 308.00 307.00 306.00 305.00

Source: Jat et al (2006) RWC Publ

Land Leveling: Concerns
Traditional land leveling techniques and equipments are not efficient Poor crop establishment in many no-till fields Potential benefits of RCTs/CA could not be realized due to in-field spatial variability in topography Large losses of irrigation water Poor input use efficiency Environmental concerns

Laser Land Leveling: The Technology
Transmitter

Bucket Source: Rickman (2002), RWC Publ

Laser Land Leveling in India: The History
Salinity management experiments1995 (CSSRI) Limited to 1-2 station trials on salinity Not explored for other potential benefits

Photo: HS Jat, CSSRI

Every part was imported, very costly (~US$ 20K), no courage to take it to farmers

Laser Land Leveling System with First Indian Bucket- RWC Efforts (2001)

Photo Source: RWC

Laser for water saving, complementing CE in No-till systems of IGP
2001: RWC imported main components of Trimble unit First Indian bucket at Beri Udyog, Karnal by RWC (Technical support by JF Rickman) taking design clue from imported version at CSSRI, Karnal Placed with a farmer in Ghaziabad, WUP JF Rickman (IRRI): Master trainer, spend several days in field ICAR launched a project on PF under NATP at PDCSR, Meerut (2001) First structured research trial during 2002 Large number of participatory field trials in WUP

Some Research Results

Western Uttar Pradesh (N= 64)
5.5
16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2

Yield (Mg ha-1)

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

LL-rice

TL-rice

LL-wheat

TL-wheat
55

Savings in irrigation water (ha-cm)

5.0

Rice

Wheat

Water productivity (kg grain m water)

1.2

-3

50

1.0
45

0.8

NUE (Kg kg )

-1

40

0.6

35

0.4
30

0.2

25

LL-rice

TL-rice

LL-wheat

TL-wheat

Source: Jat et al (2006), RWC Publ

LL-rice

TL-rice

LL-wheat

TL-wheat

Interactive effect of land leveling and rice crop establishment techniques on yield and water productivity (Western UP)
Crop establishment techniques Grain yield (t ha-1) Laser CT-DSR CT-TPR 4.90 4.94 Traditional 4.18 4.49 Irrigation water use (m3 ha-1) Laser 9067 10150 Water productivity (kg m-3)

Traditional Laser Traditional 9400 11171 0.54 0.49 0.45 0.40

Average

4.92

4.34

9608

10286

0.51

0.42

• •

CT-TPR to DSR under traditional leveling, water saving= 17 cm DSR (TL) to DSR (PL), further water saving= 5 cm

Punjab (N= 22)
Sites Rice grain yield (Mg ha-1) Laser leveling Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4 Site 5 Site 6 8.78 ± 0.33 8.30 ± 0.46 7.60 ± 0.21 8.14 ± 0.44 7.77 ± 0.35 8.43 ± 0.40 Traditional leveling 7.73 ± 0.21 7.53 ± 0.39 7.00 ± 0.25 7.72 ± 0.38 7.28 ± 0.40 7.35 ± 0.35 Average yield increase under laser leveling (%) 13.60 10.30 8.57 5.44 6.70 14.6 Saving in irrigation water under laser leveling over traditional leveling (%) 26.2 25.0 24.1 -

Mean across sites

10.82

25.1

Source: Jat et al (2009b), IRRI-ADB-RWC Publ

Haryana (N=92)
50 40

30

20

10

0

T im e ta k e n (h r h a -1 )

A r e a in c r e a s e (% )

Y ie ld in c r e a s e (% )

W a te r s a v in g (% )

Source: Jat et al (2009b), IRRI-ADB-RWC Publ

Bihar (N= 60)
Saving in Irrigation Costs under Laser Leveling over Traditional Leveling
35 30

US$ ha-1

25 20 15 10 5 0 Rice (11) Wheat (38) Maize (09) Potato (02)

Source: Jat et al (2009b), IRRI-ADB-RWC Publ

Land Leveling effects on RW system productivity (on-station)
RW System Productivity ( t ha-1)
12.0 11.8 11.6 11.4 11.2 11.0 10.8 10.6 10.4 10.2 10.0 Yr-1 Yr-2

Laser

Traditional

0.53 0.76

Source: Adopted from Jat et al (2009a), Soil & Till Res

Laser Leveling: Water Saving in CA v/s Conventional till systems
25.0
% water saving

Conventional

Double no-till

20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 Season-1 Season-2 Season-3 Season-4

Source: Jat et al (2009a), Soil & Till Res

Component Technology Effects on Agronomic Efficiency
2002-03
25 20
AE-N (kg kg-1 )

2003-04

AE-N

15

AE-K
10 5
AE-K (kg kg -1 )

60 50 40 30 20 10 0 PLRB TLRB PLFB TLFB

0 PLRB TLRB PLFB TLFB

120 100
AE-P (kg kg -1 )

AE-P

80 60 40 20 0 PLRB TLRB PLFB TLFB

Source: Jat et al (2011); Am. J Pl Sc

Effect of land leveling on operational efficiency and fuel consumption of tractor
Field Leveling Status Time in tillage operation (min ha-1) Cultivator Laser Traditionally 80 105 Harrowing 87.5 115 Fuel consumption (ltr ha-1) Cultivator 5.33 7.00 Harrowing 5.83 7.67

Difference % Savings

25 23.8

27.5 23.9

1.67 23.7

1.84 24

Additional area under crop- An example

Source: Jat et al (2006), RWC Publication

Laser land leveling- The progress

Farm level benefits in RWCS of IGP • ~7 % gain in crop productivity • ~20 % (18 ha-cm yr-1) saving in irrigation water, • US$ 113 to 175 ha-1 higher system profitability •10-13 % higher agronomic efficiency of nitrogen Source: Jat et al, 2005, 2006, 2009a,b,2011

Supply Chain
Exporters

Dealers/Agencies

Local manufacturers

Bucket, Hydraulic System, Tripods

Assembling

Sub dealers Bank
Government

Sub dealers Service provider/ Farmer

Sub dealers Training

Loan

Subsidy Subsidy

Farmer

Farmer

Farmer

Laser Land Leveler Suppliers in India
S. No Dealer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 8 9 10 11 Spectra Precision Elcome Tech AJ Precision Topcon Shubham India Ltd Precision Cultivation Osaw Udyog Futura Tools & Tech Bankura Precision AS Laser Systems Apogee Misclenious

Make
Trimble Leica Geosystems AGL, Control panel local Topcon, Japan Hybrid (assembling) Apache Proshot, Control Panel from Pakistan MCE Futura Laser Electronics, Greece AGL Apache-Spectra Hybrids (assembling)

Year #of Units
2001 2004 2007 2007 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 2009 2009 1700 3200 2000 145 250 750 150 250 325 200 600 450

Data collected from different dealers/agencies

New Innovations
• Substantial indigenization • Double tyre with more efficiency • Built local capacity • Units available now at less cost • 2WT laser

Impact of laser leveling technology
• Direct employment generation: 350 person days/unit/yr • At current level (~10000 units): 3.5 million person days/yr • Indirect employment: manufacturing, transport, services • Yield gains in RW system (1.2 mha, 0.5 t ha-1 yr-1)- 0.6 mt yr-1; US$12 million yr-1 • Electricity saving for irrigation in RW systems of IGP (1.2 mha)- ~US$ 25 million yr-1 • Water saving in RW system (1.2 mha, 18 ha-cm ha-1 yr-1) =2.2 km3 yr-1 • Other possible benefits- emission reduction, savings in fertilizer consumption and the associated savings in subsidy bill etc.

Impact Assessment on custom service providers
Inputs
Fuel Wages Maintenance & Miscellaneous Interest on investment Total

Costs (US$) Returns (US$)
6343 800 1087 2589 10819 14414 14414

Net returns (US$ yr-1)

3595

Annual returns through all custom service providers at current level- ~ US$ 36 million

Lessons Learned
• The efforts of RWC (CIMMYT-IRRI) have abundantly established the success of the private sector approach over the public sector “push” option • The higher acceptance of laser has been associated with lowered cost of production through indigenization backed by a cadre of service providers- Best Example of “Technology led Business Model” • The creation of the institutional mechanism of farmer co-operatives has brought about optimization in costs for inputs used for farming • Complimentarity of technologies help adoption of either

Lessons Learned
• While initial expectations from applying laser technology for leveling of land were focused on water saving as a benefit, it found higher purpose being served on account of its ability to reduce cost of production, increase yields and improve efficiency of production inputs • Successful induction of the LLL helped lay the foundation for improving the performance of other technologies covered under the paradigm of CA • The technology has created an investment base of USD 80 million (>90% by farmers) just on laser plus tractors- Established an example of farmer investment in technology

THANKS

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