Solar pump owner: Shanti Devi Kurmi
District: Bara
VDC: Bishanpurwa
Command area 0.67 hectares
Current crops Aquaculture & vegetable
Future plans Expansion of aquaculture & vegetable production
“I can now devote my time to teaching and still get substantial harvests from my field.” – Shawkar Jaiswal, Shanti Devi Kurmi’s husband

Shawkar Jaiswal and his wife, Shanti Devi Kurmi, are proud owners and operators of a solar powered irrigation system. The pump and the land are in Shanti’s name. A 70% subsidy is offered on the system to women farmers in order to empower them by providing an affordable and easy-to-use irrigation system. Shawkar and Shanti Devi use the system to grow vegetables and maintain a successful farm. Before, the family used a 3 HP diesel pump and faced various issues related to fuel, operation and maintenance. Now they have been able to expand their practices because of solar irrigation.

Shawkar is a principal at a local school. He loves his job but he says it is very time consuming, so he isn’t able to devote much time to his farm. This was a constant issue when he was irrigating with a diesel pump. It took a lot of time and labour to operate and maintan the pump. It was also expensive, constantly needing fuel and repairs. The family knew there had to be a better alternative available. People in the community were in fact talking about such an alternative – solar irrigation. Shawkar reached out to a project field officer to see if solar irrigation might be the solution they were looking for. 

After getting more information and attending a demonstration, he realized that solar irrigation was exactly what they needed. They got the system installed. They say they have been benefiting from it. Now they have a reliable, affordable and efficient water irrigation system that has raised their hopes for the future. Next year, Shawkar will be retiring and devoting most of his time to expanding and working on his farm. His son, also a teacher, will help him to maintain the farm and eventually inherit the family business. Shawkar is proud that his farm is modern and successful and hopes it will continue to grow after his son inherits it. The family has reinvested the extra income earned from the farm back into agriculture. Now that they have a reliable source of water, they are hoping to expand their land to cultivate more crops in the future.

Solar irrigation has provided this family with solutions to some of the most common issues in farming. They made this investment simply because it appeared to be a cheaper irrigation method, but they are now thrilled by all the other benefits they are experiencing. The system is affordable, reliable and takes up very little time to operate. This one-time investment is already increasing their income and production.