Sukirti, a voracious reader of fiction, who also has an avidity to give her thoughts the shape of words, is a graduate in agriculture. Apart from being a devotee of words, she loves to express herself through dance. She enjoys writing about environmental issues such as climate change and sustainable agriculture.

In Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal, the SwitchON Foundation launches the SEWA network, which will serve as a platform for promoting sustainable climate smart technology and practices. The multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits of employing solar pumps are highlighted in a paper on the impact of solar-based irrigation that was released at the event.

Source: Odisha Diary

SwitchON Foundation hosted a webinar to launch the SEWA Network, a network of grass-root organizations working in these domains to create an ecosystem for the promotion of solar pump, micro irrigation, ground water recharge, and other sustainable agricultural practices in Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal on the occasion of Akshay Urja Divas, or National Renewable Energy Day. The webinar was attended by a number of top government officials, foundations, grass-root organizations, NGOs, and Farmer Producer Organizations.

70% of India’s population relies on agriculture, which is being threatened by the negative effects of climate change and natural resource depletion, resulting in a drop in agricultural revenues. Shri S. Suresh Kumar, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Power, Government of West Bengal, was the event’s keynote speaker. He emphasized the use of solar pumps in agriculture to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and grid electricity at the end of the chain.

Why Do We Need SEWA?

The members of the SEWA network will work together to raise funds for seed projects, provide capacity building training to farmers and other stakeholders on sustainable technologies and practices, disseminate communication materials on schemes and subsidies, and demonstrate proof of concepts in a variety of agro-climatic zones, with the goal of scaling up successful business models.

Source: IndiaMART

At the ceremony, a report on the “Impact of Solar Pumps on Small and Marginal Farmers” was released. Farmers’ incomes increased by 45 to 65 percent after switching to solar pumps, according to the survey. According to the paper, “replacing a 5HP diesel or electric pump for a year is equivalent to removing one car from the road for a year.” Solar pumps have a variety of other economic, social, and environmental consequences, according to the article.

What Did The Speakers Say?

Mr Manu Maudgal, Director of the Shakti Foundation’s Clean Power Program, spoke at the event and emphasized the significance of developing distributed renewable energy solutions to combat climate change challenges. Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency’s Shri Bijay Kr Sinha and Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency’s Shri Kishood Koner discussed their initiatives to promote solar pumps in their respective states.

While promoting solar pumps, Ms. Stephanie Jones, Program Manager of the Good Energies Foundation, pointed out that groundwater extraction must be monitored and supplied before a water crisis occurs. Dr. Pennan Chinnasamy of IIT Bombay spoke about some of the water saving technology and techniques.

Source: PCI Magazine

Ms. Moutushi Sengupta, Director, MacArthur Foundation, spoke about the significance of a simplified methodology to facilitate the transition from conventional to renewable energy. NABARD’s DGM, Mr. Samrat Mukherjee, spoke on the agency’s efforts to scale up and duplicate sustainable agriculture technology and practices in the region. According to Shri Jai Prakash Tiwari, CEO of the Organic Farming Authority of Jharkhand, “organic farming practice enhances incomes of small and marginal farmers due to increased demand and premium prices of organic products.”

Grassroots organizations and non-profits were eager to join, build, and expand the network on the ground. “By bringing together grass-root organizations working with small and marginal farmers to improve incomes and promote a sustainable ecology, the network provides a holistic approach to rural development.” Mr. Vinay Jaju, Managing Director of the SwitchON Foundation, stated. 

Author’s Thoughts

We are in the middle of a crisis and it’s not the virus I am talking about. Climate Change is real and we need to understand it! Using renewable energy like solar pumps will help us fight climate change. Solar pumps are not only environment friendly but also low maintenance, simple and reliable. Use of solar pumps would also lead to substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It can be a blessing for all of us, so you should definitely switch to it.

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