India’s water demand in the year 2020 is expected to be around 1,000 billion cubic meters (BCM) as against a supply of 700BCM. The biggest demand will be from agriculture for sustaining food security for a burgeoning population. Growing water scarcity across various sectors has increased the need for improving water use efficiency in agriculture. Various stages such as rainwater harvesting, watershed management, micro-irrigation, crop intensification, and developing varieties with higher per day productivity, etc. are being planned with an aim to conserve the vital input. In this context, chemists all over the world focused attention on developing super absorbent polymers (SAPs). SAPs are organic materials possessing high to very high swelling capacity in an aqueous medium with the ability to release this water slowly. Some of these polymers have established global credentials for their role in improving water use efficiency in agriculture. In India, although these materials were introduced in the seventies, they failed to make any impact because of their structural limitations and low benefit-cost ratios.
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