Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa (Samastipur) has developed a boat-based solar pumping system to irrigate fields. The boat is equipped with a two horsepower submersible pump powered by the solar panel. Farmers can irrigate their fields in diara areas with river water by using the system.
Sources in the university said farmers of the diara areas spread over 15 lakh hectares of land face the calamity of floods and drought every year. They struggle to irrigate their fields despite a river flowing alongside due to absence of any permanent irrigation system.
“Poor spending capacity of farmers forces them to hire pumping sets at higher rate. Using the new system, farmers of the region can raise at least two crops to full potential productivity. The solar-powered system can irrigate 5-6 acres of land at a time which may increase to 10 acres with the use of rain gun, sprinkler or drip irrigation systems,” said a source in the university.
“With the meagre operational cost of maximum Rs 35 per hour, this system can alone achieve the target of doubling the income of farmers of these areas,” said agro-scientist Dr S K Jain, who is working on the project.
He said governor Ram Nath Kovind, who recently visited the university, showed keen interest in the project and lauded the work done by the scientists.