Solar pump owner: Chandriya Devi Tharuni
District: Bara
VDC: Basanpurwa, Ward 9
Command area 0.57 hectares
Current crops Aquaculture & seasonal vegetables
Future plans Commercial aquaculture & vegetable
“There is no diesel cost, no labour involved, and no wasted time.” – Rakesh Chaudhary, Chandriya Devi’s son

Chandriya Devi Tharuni and her son Rakesh Chaudhary own and operate a solar powered irrigation system. Their family has been farming for generations, following practices passed down through generations. The farming methods that Rakesh’s forefathers used were no longer giving him the same results that they once had. The family could not solely rely on farming for a livelihood and had to branch out to other occupations while practicing farming part-time. They wanted to try modern techniques that would hopefully bring back the yields their forefathers once obtained. 

At a demonstration site they came across a new technology that could pump groundwater using solar energy, without the need for diesel or electricity. The technology impressed them. Rakesh’s father even had the opportunity to participate in the demonstration.The system seemed to be incredibly easy to operate and had no fuel costs. They inquired about its maintenance, the amount of labour and time required, and finally how they could install the system. It seemed like an obvious choice. “There is no diesel cost, no labour involved, and no wasted time,” Rakesh informed us.  

Since the solar irrigation system was installed, the family has seen some incredible changes in their farm. The system is so easy to operate that everyone in the family is involved, even the women and children. They are growing enough food to sustain their family. Since the installation, they have also expanded into aquaculture, adding two ponds on their land. They hope to earn extra income from fish farming and eventually expand further. In addition, they have started to cultivate seasonal vegetables. Rakesh explained that now that he has an abundance of water, there is no limit to what his farm can produce. In the future the family wants to move towards commercial agriculture, as this would allow them to rely entirely on their farm for a livelihood, without the need to pursue other occupations. Solar irrigation has turned their dream of becoming completely independent into a reality.

The success of their farm is drawing the attention of many others in their community. People from nearby villages and VDCs come to see solar irrigation in all its glory. They ask the same questions that Rakesh and his father had asked when they first encountered solar irrigation. The Chaudhary family’s farm has become a source of inspiration for the community. Solar irrigation has given them new hope for the future of farming.