Micro-irrigation systems maker, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd is focusing on developing technology for irrigation in arid regions. The move is aimed at catering to the farmers in regions like Saurashtra in Gujarat and Vidarbha in Maharashtra.The company would develop a technology through which farmers in arid regions would be able to utilise the harvested rain water for at least two crop cycles over a period of about eight months. The company has been selling drip and sprinkler irrigation systems and components, which is largely used by horticulture farmers across the country. Jain Irrigation has two plants in Gujarat and one of them is located in Bavnagar in Saurashtra region. The company opened its Bhavnagar plant in February this year. Micro-irrigation as perceived to be a capital intensive option for irrigation, a large part of the farming community is believed to have failed to take benefit of the same despite government offering a subsidy on the equipment. Hence, the company is now looking to focus more on low-cost micro-irrigation equipment and systems, which suits even small and marginal farmers.
The government has set a target of bringing about 20 million hectares of land under micro-irrigation, while currently only 4.5 million hectares is covered under micro-irrigation. So there is a long way to go, but subsidy regime seems to be slowing down the progress on this front. Jain irrigation spends more than 6 per cent of its annual earnings towards research and development. In the second quarter ended September 2011, the company has registered net sales of Rs 750 crore, up by 18 per cent from Rs 637 crore registered in the corresponding period last year. The company's micro-irrigation systems recorded a growth of 21 per cent year-on-year. Company's net profits for the period stood at Rs 12 crore, down by 81 per cent from Rs 62 crore in the same period last year.