Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), the Dharwad-headquartered regional rural bank, and the Bengaluru-based Mecwin Technologies Ltd, which is involved in the manufacture and supply of solar-powered pump-sets for farmers, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Saturday to introduce farmer-friendly solar-powered pump-sets using bank finance.

Chairman of KVGB, P Gopi Krishna, said the MoU will benefit farmers since Mecwin Technologies Ltd is specialised in the production and management of solar irrigation pump-sets. Apart from this, the bank has the largest branch network in rural areas, he said.

KVGB, which was the first bank to introduce solar loan schemes, has been in the forefront in financing solar lights and sustainable energy solutions to underserved households and businesses in association with SELCO for the last 25 years.

Stating that the  time has come for farmers to use solar energy as a farmer-friendly innovation, he said farmers have direct control over solar power.

Considering the 20-25 year lifespan of solar-powered pump-sets, it will become an inexpensive medium in the long run, Gopi Krishna said. If diesel pump-sets are replaced with solar-powered pump-sets, carbon emissions would be reduced significantly, he said.

Shivakumara HM, Co-Founder and Director of Mecwin Technologies Ltd, said there are more than 15,000 satisfied farmers statewide, and the solar pump-sets manufactured by the company would be popular.

Farmers have to think of solar pumps as a way to battle irrigation issues and reduce carbon emissions. Intensive deployment of solar pumps can reduce ongoing subsidies to the farm sector and improve energy access to farmers, he said.

Stating that Mecwin Technologies Ltd has a presence in more than 25 states and 18 countries, he said solar-powered pumps from 1 HP to 50 HP are suitable for borewells, open wells and other irrigation projects. This technique can also be applied to drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation, he said.