Bhandut is a small village in Olpad block of Surat district in India’s western state Gujarat. It has become 100% solar pump powered. The village’s 688 bigha agriculture land is now totally irrigated using fifteen 5-HP pumps facilitated by Adani Foundation. The initiative is perfectly executed to demonstrate a Public-Private-Partnership Model.
The gram panchayat and Adani Foundation with the guidance of the Gujarat government’s irrigation department came together to successfully execute the transfer from diesel to solar-powered pumps, in two years. The Adani Foundation generously aided the solar pumps and installations, the state government’s irrigation-related schemes ensured that irrigation pipelines were installed to take water to farms, and the Gram Panchayat helped in the implementation.
The Solar Pump installations have brought an abundance of benefits to the lives of beneficiary farmers. Adani Foundation is always in the process of creating opportunities for the farming community to help them benefit from the latest knowledge and technology. Through this initiative, the farmers are not only saving precious wealth by not buying diesel but also saving in the form of labour costs and time.
A total of 401 farmers are reaping the benefits of the initiative. Looking at the average annual savings on diesel, the farmers will collectively save approximately Rs. 9.13 Lakhs monthly and Rs. 1.10 Crore annually.
Similarly, the farmers will be saving Rs. 20 lakhs in labour and many hours of time. In addition to this, 3000 working hours are saved per month and 36000 hours annually. One of the major indirect benefits of the initiative has been the utility of those few farmlands as well which were not productive due to lack of access to irrigation.
The transition from diesel to solar has a positive impact on the environment as well; as per the calculation, the total CO2 emission avoided in the village by eliminating diesel pumps is 269916 KG per year.
Mukesh Patel, State Minister, Agriculture, Energy and Petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat inaugurated and witness the completion of the last phase of the Clean Energy (Solar Water Pump) initiative at Bhandut village.
Minister Patel said, “Bhandut village becoming diesel pump free has benefited 400 farmers cultivating in 688 Bigha of agricultural land of the village. The land has been irrigated with fifteen 5-hp pumps facilitated by the Adani Foundation.”
“The implementation of the scheme, featuring a Public-Private-Partnership model, has increased farmers’ incomes with cost and time savings.”
But reaching this stage was no easy feat. It was challenging for the villagers earlier as the main source of water for irrigation were three ponds and to direct water to their respective farmlands, farmers would use diesel-run motor pumps. The disadvantages to using plentifulabour inducing diesel meant that the farmers ended up spending a lot more, the diesel motor contributed to noise and air pollution, and it was a hard labour-inducing job as well as time-consuming.
And then there was another catch – not all farmers were able to afford to buy these pumps and hence they would have to take these pumps for rent from those who owned them, which would further add to the cost.
Soon, they realised that farming, when done on a large scale, is an expensive endeavour that consumes lots of electricity. Hence, if they incorporate solar-powered irrigation into farming, it will reduce overhead costs comprehensively. That is when they sought help from the Adani Foundation, Hazira, which stepped in and installed solar water pumps each of 5HP as an eco-friendly alternative.
The benefits of solar water pumps are many. It makes irrigation possible in remote areas; it is environmentally friendly; there is no requirement for fuel; and it needs minimal maintenance. Today, Bhandut has become a glowing example of a successful sustainable agriculture ecosystem, and a model village for many villages in India to follow its path.
About Adani Foundation
Established in 1996, Adani Foundation today has widespread operations in 16 states that include 2,409 villages and towns across the country with a team of professionals who work with an approach that embodies innovation, people participation and collaboration.
Touching the lives of over 3.70 million people and passionately working towards creating social capital with focus on four core areas – Education, Community Health, Sustainable Livelihood Development and Infrastructure Development, Adani Foundation acts towards inclusive growth and sustainable development of the rural and urban communities, in turn contributing towards nation-building.
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