Date: August 8-9, 2019
For some years now, India’s agricultural sector has been in a deep crisis. A severe water and electricity crunch has paralysed irrigation on one hand, while extreme weather events and changing rainfall patterns – triggered by climate change – have disrupted it as a whole. Dipping farm productivity and suicides by farmers have prompted governments and experts to scurry for solutions – and solar-powered pumps have emerged as an option.
Governments at the Centre and states have been pushing for these pumps stridently. Maharashtra plans to install 1 lakh solar pumps by 2021, while the Centre’s KUSUM scheme has been tom-tomed as the answer to farmer’s energy, financial and water security needs.
A Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study has put a question mark on this rush to opt for solar as a solution. Stakeholders working in Maharashtra gathered at a field visit (in Buldhana) organized by CSE to understand the ground realities followed by a Regional Meeting (in Aurangabad) on the subject – the findings of the study and recommendations for sustainable solar deployment strategies were shared with all and discussed. The report is supported by CSE’s surveys of farmers in three districts in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
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|August 9, 2019, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
CSE releases its new report on use of solar-powered water pumps in agriculture
|Are Solar Pumps a Panacea for Irrigation, Farmer Distress and Discom Losses?|