Alternate farming models being promoted

  1. At a workshop organised by World Bank, the Rajasthan government highlighted the scope and benefit of using solar pumps in agriculture.
  2. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has formulated ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) Scheme. The scheme aims to promote the use of solar power among farmers.
  3. In February 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the launch of the scheme. The scheme was announced in the Union Budget of the year 2018-19.
  4. The main objective of the scheme is to promote financial and water security to farmers. The scheme has 3 components: A) 10,000 megawatts (MW) of decentralised ground mounted grid-connected renewable power plants, B) installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps and C) solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps
  5. Component A envisages setting up of renewable power plants of capacity 500 KW to 2 MW by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats, or farmer producer organisations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands.
  6. Power generated will be purchased by DISCOMs. This would ensure income to rural land owners.
  7. Under component B, centre and state governments would provide financial assistance to farmers to install standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  8. Under component C, individual farmers will be provided financial assistance by central and state govts. to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP. Framers will be allowed to sell surplus energy to the DISCOMs. This would ensure additional income to the farmers.
  9. The expected benefits of the scheme are: a) water security to farmers, b) additional income for farmers by selling surplus energy to DISCOMs, c) Reduce DISCOM’s subsidy burden to agriculture sector, d) decrease C02 emissions by reducing diesel use, e) help states achieve Renewable Purchase obligation (RPO) targets and f) reduce diesel consumption and thus result in savings in the foreign exchange due to reduction of import of crude oil and g) generate employment.