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India Boosts Irrigation Spending 9-Fold to $2.7 Billion

India, the second-biggest producer of rice and wheat, plans to increase spending on irrigation projects to boost water supplies to farms nine-fold to 150 billion rupees ($2.7 billion) over the next five years.

The south Asian country will also build additional micro-irrigation projects and canals by 2017 to ensure more efficient use of water, G. Mohan Kumar, special secretary in the ministry of water resources, said today in New Delhi.

About six percent of the 60 million hectares of irrigated farmland in India has drip and sprinkler equipment, according to Jain Irrigation Ltd., Asia’s biggest irrigation-equipment maker. Eighty percent of the water available in India is used in agriculture and less than 10 percent by factories, Kumar said.

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