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Draft Paper for Solar Use in Agriculture

Draft Paper for Solar Use in Agriculture

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Published by Dr Rajan Dubey

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Published by: Dr Rajan Dubey on Nov 08, 2009
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08/26/2012

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Bringing Solar Powered Irrigation pumps to Farmers
 
Dr Rajan Dubey
We will approach for a solution of attempting a solution togive the Marginalized farmers better access to groundwater irrigation:Sustainable approaches and options for India. We see this as a firm stepto our father of the nation’s vision of independent and self sustainablevillages. This is a vision contributing to “
Gram Swaraj 
”.In the 1930s, public tube-well programs played the usefulrole of introducing these technologies when farmers resisted using it. Today, the situation is quite different. But public tube-well programshave failed to reinvent themselves and address the needs of the currentmarket and society they serve. Small-scale, farmer-managed tube wellsand decentralized pump irrigation markets have made public tube wellslargely irrelevant. It is no surprise, then, that governments in mosteconomically dynamic states, such as Gujarat, have begun turning overgovernment tube wells to farmer groups in a hurry.Rural India’s poverty can be reduced by putting pumps inthe hands of the small farmer. But the sheer numbers of people are suchthat a market push is needed to speed the process of transforming theirregion’s vast groundwater irrigation potential into wealth and welfare forits poor population. Central and State government pump subsidy andloan programs were created to speed the process. But they are mired inbureaucratic procedure and compromised by political brinkmanship andrent seeking. The end result is that these initially well-intentioned effortshave failed to produce an impact. The bright spot in this story is the successful programs of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and north Bihar. Here much of the practicalorganization of the pump subsidy and loan programs has been releasedfrom the stranglehold of the local bureaucracy. The private pump dealerplays a central coordinating role.
 
Bringing Solar Powered Irrigation pumps to Farmers
 
Dr Rajan Dubey
Motivated by the prospect of profits from the growing pumpmarket, private dealers have proliferated in towns of eastern UP. Intensecompetition has induced these businesses to deliver small farmers arange of rapid and useful services that were never previously offered. To get the farmers’ business, these pump dealers do the paper work andlegwork, get the clearances and approvals needed. They organize bankloans, arrange the issuing of pipes, pumps and the drilling of boreholes— all in an unusually short time as compared with a centrally coordinatedapproach. The average delivery time for a working pump set under thegovernment’s Free Boring Scheme in eastern UP is one-to-two weeks. Inother States, dealers extract a heavy ‘service charge’ from farmers forproviding these services. But the intense competition in the UP regionhas reduced dealer margins to 7–10% from 15–18% elsewhere. The government’s role is to support this market-oriented approach by encouraging the creation of these types of public-private partnerships. The government’s key role is to set market rules that allow suppliers todeliver fast service and pump equipment adapted to local farmers’ needs. The central lesson is that energy solutions are to be given to a farmerwith low resource settings and a drive has to be initiated involvingtechnology firms to facilitate faster and cheaper dissemination of technology and subsidy.
1A “block” consists roughly of 150-250 villages; and it is a basicgeographic unit between a village and a district. The groundwateradministration classifies blocks fewer than three categories based on theextent of groundwater development. Blocks where groundwater draft isless than 65% of the available resources are categorized as “white;” thosewith 65%–85% development are classified as “gray;” and those with morethan 85% development are classified as “dark.” While new groundwaterdevelopment is strongly discouraged in dark areas it is encouraged in“white” areas.
 
Bringing Solar Powered Irrigation pumps to Farmers
 
Dr Rajan Dubey
Bringing Solar Powered Irrigation pumps to Farmers: A strategy for directimpact to improved irrigation capacity in India
The paper has reviews and analysis of factors that have influenced the success andfailure of groundwater development schemes in India. Based on these observations, fewpoints are recommended for policy action:
 
Discontinue government minor irrigation programs and focus onprivate tube wells as the primary mode for bringing groundwaterirrigation to poor communities. Special Promotional Schemes forfarmers and farmer groups trying to set up power generation withrenewable energy solutions.
 
Improve electricity supply for agriculture by reintroducing combinedsolutions for different areas like Wind in hilly areas to wind and solarcombination to solar and diesel pump sets in Northern India.
 
Promote the modification of pump sets to improve the energyefficiency of groundwater pumping, reduce pollution and lower thesale price of water to poor users. Wind in coastal and hilly regionswith use of Solar in all India can bring lot of changes in the waypumping is done.
 
Introduce special Integrated Solar powered irrigation technologiesfor vegetable growers and marginal farmers. Horticulture may be oneof the major area that can use even the area of land and betteroutputs.
 
Remove other Electricity subsidies and promote renewable energy assole attraction of rural housing and facilities such as PanchayatBhawans, Anganwadies, Schools, Sub-Health Centers Etc.

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