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Planning for Solar Powered Irrigation Systems : A Sustainable Approach for Rain-dependent Regions of India–A Case Study of Batisuan Village (Odisha)

Lovely School of Architecture and Design, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144 411 (Punjab), India
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Sustainable agriculture is central to achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from poverty alleviation and food security to livelihood security. In India, only 46% of the cultivated land is irrigated (Ministry of Agriculture). On account of unavailability of electricity connections, more than 9 million diesel pumps are being used for irrigation, which are expensive as well as hazardous to human health and the environment. Millions of farmers continue to lack access to irrigation, particularly in the eastern region of the country, where farming is predominantly rain-dependent (Ministry of Agriculture, 2015; Task Force on Agriculture Development, 2015). Solar powered irrigation systems (SPIS) are emerging as an alternative to conventional irrigation solutions. For case area, village Batisuan (Angul district, Odisha), which is a rain-dependent village, was taken for implementation of SPIS. Solar based irrigation technology’s economic sustainability was assessed using the life cycle costs and benefits (LCC) approach. It has been found that SPIS can particularly facilitate Zaid (summer) crops, such as vegetables, which are high value crops. Currently farmers are growing only one crop a year but with the use of SPIS they can cultivate three crops a year at zero SPIS operational costs. Solar Pumping Programme for Irrigation and Drinking Water in Odisha along with Odisha Solar Policy can be used to implement the SPIS in Batisuan

Key words : Solar, irrigation systems, pumping programme, irrigation and drinking water, life cycle cost