The Critical Necessity of the Future: Pusa Hydrogel, A Novel Approach to Convert Desert into Farmland

Authors : Shabir Ahmad Bhat; Bisma Nazir; Nadeem Nissar, Sadaf salam; Mehraj ud din sofi; Fayaz Ahmed Bahar; Waseem Ahmad Raja

Volume/Issue : Volume 7 - 2022, Issue 12 - December

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- Water scarcity is currently a major problem for humanity, particularly for the farming population. The total growth and development of a plant depends heavily on water. This issue has become exponentially more problematic because of climate change. India's population is expected to grow to 1.6 billion people by the year 2050, which will worsen the country's water shortage. The country only has 4% of the world's freshwater despite having 16% of the world's population. About 1122 BCM (690 BCM from the surface and 432 BCM from groundwater) of the nation's total water resources are usable, which is just 28% of water which comes from precipitation . A significant portion of this water is being diverted for irrigation in agriculture about 85% (688 BCM) , it may increase up to 1072 BCM by the year 2050, and at the same rate, water use in the home and industrial sectors could reach 29.2 BCM by 2025. Therefore, it is anticipated that water availability in the agricultural sector, mainly for irrigation, will decline to 162.3 BCM. Taking all these factors into account, scientists worked to come up with an alternative solution to this ongoing issue. The United States Department of Agriculture invented the notion of hydrogel in the 1960s (USDA). Hydrogels initially do not receive much attention due to their poisonous nature, high cost, and short lifespan because of their starchbased structure, which was vulnerable to soil bacteria. Maintaining this restriction Pusa Hydrogel, a cellulosic hydrogel, was created at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI).

Keywords : Pusa Hydrogel, Water Scarcity, and Water Productivity.


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