Solar pump owner: Aruna Chaudhary
District: Bara
VDC: Kolvi, Ward 7
Command area 1.52 hectares
Current crops Cereal Crops, vegetables, & aquaculture
Future plans Expansion & commercialization of current crops
“It was worth the investment.” – Rambabu Chaudhary, Aruna’s husband

Rambabu Chaudhary is living his childhood dream of becoming a farmer. He and his wife Aruna are aquaculture farmers in Bara, Nepal. When Rambabu was in school, he got a chance to visit an agriculture farm run by the Nepal government. This inspired him to pursue agriculture. Rambabu has been a practicing farmer since 1980. He grows cereal crops as well as vegetables in addition to maintaining an aquaculture farm. He is proud of his farm and his ability to support his family as a farmer. He takes great pride in his solar irrigation system, which has become integral to his farming practice. 

Rambabu claims that the secret behind his long-term success is his ability to be open to modern practices. Solar irrigation is a prime example. He has always been optimistic about new advancements in farming. His optimism has grown since the installation of the solar irrigation system. Before he installed the solar pump, he was reliant on a 7.5 HP diesel pump. The diesel pump was an ineffective, expensive and unreliable source of water. With his eagerness to adopt new practices, he thought that the idea of pumping water using solar energy was worth trying. His nephew had attended a demonstration of the solar pump and tried operating the system first-hand. Rambabu saw his nephew’s enthusiasm about the system and contacted the field office to get more information. After further inquiry he and his wife installed the solar powered system. “It was worth the investment,” says Rambabu. While installing the system, the land and the pump were put under his wife Aruna’s name. By transferring the title, they could get an additional 10% subsidy offered to female farmers. This provision seeks to empower women through agriculture. 

Solar Irrigation has provided Rambabu reliable and affordable access to water. This has allowed him to continue his farming practice with ease. The solar powered system does not require any hard labour or maintenance expenses, and there is no fuel or operational costs. Rambabu is able to cultivate enough food for the year and send the surplus in the market. He was also able to put his son through school. His son earned a master’s in computer engineering and is currently working in that field. However, Rambabu is hopeful that his son will return home and they will work on the farm together. He plans to expand into large-scale commercial farming once his son returns. 

Rambabu attributes part of his success as a farmer to his acceptance of modern practices, such as the solar irrigation system. He often demonstrates his solar irrigation system to his neighbors and others who come to see the new technology. He said that when others see and hear about such technology, they are easily inspired and eager to install their own.