A bright future for solar-powered irrigation?

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Currently, drip irrigation is only practised in 2.85 percent of the total irrigated area in the country. In Rajasthan, it is slowly taking root riding piggyback on solar water pumps which are increasingly being used as an energy source for irrigation. A farmer availing a solar pump subsidy is required to irrigate at least 0.5 hectare of his farm using a drip system.

In Sri Ganganagar district--also called the granary of Rajasthan--10,292 hectares were brought under drip irrigation in 2013-14. There are farmers who have taken to it in a big way. Chhabra’s joint family farm of around 30 hectares is irrigated through drip irrigation which helps them earn around Rs 4 lakh per hectare every year. In contrast, his neighbour earns only around Rs 20,000 per hectare.


Forwater is a collaborative platform that brings together people, ideas and actions to amplify the ability of the sector to achieve sustainable water security at scale. At its core, it envisions bringing together “samaaj, sarkaar and bazaar” and support development that is both “participatory” and “drives scale” by building agency at the local level for continuous calibration to changing realities.

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