Budget 2020

Budget2020: Extra earnings for farmers through solar pumps

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on February 01, 2020 Published on February 01, 2020

Strap: Budget proposes providing 20 lakh farmers solar pumps to create an additonal income source for them

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

In her Budget speech, the Finance Minister said 20 lakh farmers across the country will be provided solar pumps in a bid to encourage solar generation on barren land.

Stating that the ‘Anna dataa can be the urja dataa’ or farmers can become energy generators, Sitharaman said there have been experiments where farmers have linked their pump-sets to solar energy. "We aim to provide 20 lakh farmers solar pumps. An additional 15 lakh farmers would solarise their grid-connected pumps. This is a major step forward," she said adding that farmers who have barren land will now be able to set up solar pumps and generate solar energy, which they could sell to the grid and earn an income from their barren land.

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

The Gujarat government, in 2018, had launched a pilot project, Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY), aimed at setting up solar pumps on farm lands and encouraging 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 for the solar energy generated from their farm land. The 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.

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Published on February 01, 2020
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