Bring sunshine to your farms, Collector tells ryots

January 22, 2017 01:09 am | Updated February 19, 2017 08:24 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

A farmer watering his field with a solar-powered pumpset at Eedupugalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada on Saturday.

A farmer watering his field with a solar-powered pumpset at Eedupugalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada on Saturday.

Not very long ago, Prekka Subba Rao, a resident of Ventrapragada village of Peddaparupudi mandal in Krishna district, was a worried man. In the absence of electricity supply to his village, he was forced to shell out between ₹1,500 and ₹2,000 per day at the time of transplantation in his fields.

“Not any more. I opted for a solar-powered farm pump set in June 2014, a zero-maintenance mode of irrigation that has brought me peace and happiness in addition to prosperity,” said the farmer, interacting with Krishna district Collector Babu A. on Saturday.

As part of a visit to the agricultural fields at Eedupugallu to assess the functioning of the solar pump sets, he interacted with the local farmers.

Among the 675 districts across the country, Krishna district is in the forefront in use of solar-powered pump sets. Urging farmers, especially in areas where grid electricity is not available, to rely on the eco-friendly solar pump sets, the Collector said the renewable energy source was a boon in disguise. “Andhra Pradesh is surging ahead in the renewable energy sector and the Government is focussed on tapping this area in a big way. In the last two years, several initiatives have been taken to promote solar energy and farmers are given a huge subsidy to be able to opt for this new mode of irrigation. Farmers who opted for the pump sets in the first phase encouraged others to follow suit and the several advantages of it were spread through word of mouth,” said Mr. Babu. He complimented officials and staff of the Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) and Discom for facilitating the shift to the new mode of energy.

Pointing to lily bulbs in his two-acre land, Palagani Ramamohan Rao, said he had cultivated the flower and was sure of adequate water for it. “After attending a few farmers’ meetings, I realised that by replacing the diesel run water pumps with solar-powered ones, I could reduce the cost of investment. I was paying Rs. 50 per hour for a hired pump set and that money is saved now,” he said.

Penamalur MLA Bode Prasad said this mode of energy was best suited for farmers facing inadequate power supply.

NREDCAP District Manager K. Srinivasa Rao said 1,110 farmers in the district had switched to solar pump sets. He said the department would receive an award at a function scheduled to be held in New Delhi on January 24 for being in the first place in the use of the sets.

AP Southern Power Distribution Corporation Superintending Engineer Vijay Kumar and others were present.

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