Konatam Venkateswara Rao, a farmer from Maddulaparava in Reddigudem mandal of Krishna district, could not cultivate any crop in his three-acre farmland last year as he did not have water to irrigate the crop.
His fields are located far from the village and use of a diesel-run pumpset would cost him Rs.3,000 each season, which he can ill-afford.
The farmer has found a solution in solar-powered agricultural pump set.
Each 5hp pumpset costs Rs. 4.9 lakh, but a subsidy of 89 per cent brings down the cost to Rs. 55,000.
Instead of incurring a recurring cost of Rs. 90,000 per annum, Venkateswara Rao has opted for the solar-powered pumpset and is a happy man today.
Solar-powered water pumping solution comes as a boon to meet irrigation and drinking water needs of rural population, especially in power-deficit regions.
The government is supplying these pumpsets through the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP), which has kicked off an aggressive campaign to educate the masses and create market awareness on feasibility of the sun-tapped energy source.
In Krishna district, the NREDCAP has received 850 applications from farmers seeking to install solar pumpsets in their fields.
Nearly 650 of them have made payment of their share (Rs.55,000), while 450 installations have been completed so far.
“Unlike in the past when we were supplying only submersible pumpsets, the device now has ahermetically sealed motor close-coupled to the pump body and the whole assembly is submerged in the fluid to be pumped. We are now giving mono block or surface-mounted pumpsets as well. These pumps are of single stage, end suction, uni-casing type fitted with cast iron impeller, and are specially designed for domestic water supply, hotels, apartments, gardens, small farms, agriculture, and industrial application,” explains K. Srinivas Rao, NREDCAP, Krishna district manager.
The mono block pumpsets are suitable for areas like Gudivada and Challapalli, where water level is high, he says, adding that horticulturists are embracing solar pumpsets in a big way.
With a continuous rise in thirst for water and energy, solar pumping systems come as both a short-term and long-term solution.