Solar Pumps: Transforming lives of Amroha’s farmers

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Amroha is one of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh and is further divided into 6 blocks. According to a 2011 census, ‘Amroha District’ has a population of 1,838,771, roughly equal to that of the nation of Kosovo or of the US state of Nebraska. Farmers dominate a large part of this number, in Amroha. Amroha is mostly famous for the plantation of tomatoes along with sugar cane and wheat and potatoes. It produces enough tomatoes to export to Bangladesh, all over Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, thus leaving behind Punjab in tomato exports. However, this was not the case a decade back. 10 years back Amroha used to be one the most backward districts of UP, with farmers dependent on outdated, old and conventional farming practices. Within 10 years, after adopting and implementing modern agricultural techniques, yields went high and it changed the entire picturesque of Amroha.

Problems Faced

One of the biggest problems that farmers in Amroha face is that they do not get grid electricity for irrigation pumps by the government in the district. However, agriculture is their primary source of livelihood, thus the farmers in the area have now started looking for alternate irrigation solutions.

Therefore, they are having to resort to expensive diesel fueled pumps which are further burning a hole in their pockets and also degrading the present environmental conditions. These diesel pumps cost around 30,000 Rupees and 2,500 Rupees worth of diesel per day is used up to provide proper irrigation to the farms! On an average 60-70 days of irrigation is required if there is round the year farming of multiple crops, which means approximately 1.5lakh is spent on an annual basis only on diesel and electricity for irrigation purpose which is too high.

Solution: Switching to Solar Pumps

Solar powered irrigation pumps were introduced to the village by Claro Energy two years back to combat the problems faced by the farmers and a significant change was observed in such a small amount of time. The solar pumps have a negligible maintenance cost and thus, proved as a money-saving, environment-friendly solution for them. Stellar examples of its use can be observed in the village by different farmers. Though initial investment is on a higher end in solar pumps, but in long run is sustainable and cost effective with an average payback time of 2-3years(considering subsidies and in comparison to diesel pumps). In many cases, subsidies go as high as 90%, which makes payback period even less.

Making the Sun Provide More than Just Power

Dr. Parvender Kumar Panghal, a farmer of a small block Zoya in the district, has 5 acres of land opted for a 5HP solar pump. A 5 HP solar pump set costs somewhere around 5 lakh, but after various govt subsidies He only had to pay 2.6 lakhs, and no maintenance cost for 5 years.He has been able to build a hospital with the cost reduction in his irrigation supply. He’s setting an example for not only the other farmers in the village but the farmers of the world. This solar energy is also helping them improve their standard of living by helping them save money. This situation highlights how a small switch has the ability to change lives.

Access to water is a basic right which is slowly becoming a luxury; Claro Energy is committed to providing access to water to such off-grid rural areas by providing them with solar energy solutions.

Written By: Prakriti Sharma

Edited By: Priyanka Pandey