Budget 2021

Budget 2020: Extra earnings for farmers through solar pumps

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on February 01, 2020

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FM looks to make Anna Dataa an Urja Dataa by providing 20 lakh farmers solar pumps

In a bid to replicate a Gujarat experience of solar pumps on national scale, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a major initiative towards creating an additional income source for the farmers through solar power generation.

In her Budget speech for 2020-21 on Saturday, the Finance Minister stated that 20 lakh farmers across the country will be provided solar pumps in a bid to encourage solar generation on the barren land with the farmers.

Stating that "anna dataa can be urja dataa" or farmer can become energy generator, Sitharaman stated that there have been experiments where farmers have linked pump-sets to Solar Energy. "We aim to provide 20 lakh farmers to set up solar pumps. And an additional 15 lakh farmers to solarise their grid-connected pumps. This is a major step forward," she stated adding that the farmers, if they have barren land,  now will be able to set up solar pumps and generate solar energy, which they can sell to grid and be able to make a living out of their barren land.

However, details are still to be made available about the remuneration to the farmers, who set up solar-pumps and feed-in to the grid the generated solar power.

The Gujarat government, in 2018, had launched a pilot project of farmer-oriented scheme of Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) aimed at setting up solar pumps on the farm lands and facilitating farmers to sell the surplus power generated to the grid and earn extra money.

Notably, about three years ago in Anand district, a Solar Cooperative was launched with nine farmers to lead the solar energy generation from their farm land. Dhundi Saur Urja Utpadak Sahakari Mandali became a model for solar enterpreneurship as these farmers use these solar pumps to supply water to nearby farmers at half the rate they pay otherwise.

Published on February 01, 2020

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