Bhagalpur, Bihar | Solar Pumps Tool Made with Humane Club

Bhagalpur, Bihar

Overall, water availability for irrigation in the district (based on ground water development and long-term trends of water level decline) is within the safe limit, enhancing long-term sustainability of solar pumps. The average monthly per capita expenditure of rural agricultural households is relatively low for the district, suggesting poor purchasing capacity of the farmers here. It has a relatively low penetration of banks in rural and semi-rural areas, impeding access to institutional credit for farmers. The number of medium and long-term institutional loans disbursed in the district is comparatively small, suggesting poor availability of credit amongst farmers for potential investments. There is a comparatively high level of farm mechanization in the district, implying a positive outlook towards progressive technologies amongst the farmers. The district has a relatively high proportion of small and marginal farmers. The district appears in the group of districts, which are (very) highly vulnerable towards climate change, as per an index constructed by CRIDA.

Deployment Approaches

Approaches Feasibility
Individually owned off-grid solar pumps Limited Suitability
Solar based water as a service Limited Suitability
Promote 1 HP and sub-HP pumps Limited Suitability

Individually owned off-grid solar pumps

Limited Suitability

The district has ground water available within the safe limit and a comparatively high concentration of diesel pump users. However, low crop revenue per holding, and the relatively low disbursement of institutional credit would make it difficult to promote the private ownership of solar pumps here.

Parameter Value Percentile
Number of cultivators reporting use of diesel pumps 423,531 99
Water Availability Index 1 100
Crop revenue per holding (INR) 14,463 6
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 0.2 21

Solar based water as a service

Limited Suitability

Groundwater availability in the district is within safe limit and the concentration of small and marginal farmers is comparatively high, but the proportion of unirrigated area is relatively low. A solar-based water service will have to compete with existing sources of irrigation.

Parameter Value Percentile
Water Availability Index 1 100
Proportion of small and marginal cultivators 98% 93
Unirrigated net sown area as a share of total net sown area 44% 36

Promote 1 HP and sub-HP pumps

Limited Suitability

The district has a relatively high proportion of horticulture crops under gross cropped area, high concentration of marginal farmers and groundwater availability within the safe limit, but disbursement of institutional credit to marginal farmers is comparatively low. Greater support, either through subsidies or credit, would be required to enable marginal farmers to adopt solar pumps.

Parameter Value Percentile
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area 6% 52
Water Availability Index 1 100
Proportion of marginal cultivators 94% 96
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 0.2 21

Leveraging Solar Pumps to Promote Policy Objectives

If you are deploying solar pumps in this district then you can further these policy objectives.

Doubling Farmers’ Income – Capital Investment

Given the high concentration of small and marginal farmers, and their relatively better access to institutional credit, the district is suitable for doubling farmers’ income through capital investment. Solar pumps could be one of the farm technologies to invest in for farmers, especially 1 HP or sub-HP pumps for marginal farmers.

Parameter Value Percentile
Proportion of small and marginal cultivators 98% 93
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year to small and marginal cultivators (in INR Crore) 0.2 21

National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP)

The relatively low share of oilseeds and oil palm crops under gross sown area in the district makes it a suitable candidate for promoting NMOOP. Solar pumps could meet irrigation needs for these crops and help farmers diversify their yields beyond cereals.

Parameter Value Percentile
Area under oilseeds as a share of total cropped area 2% 31

Climate Resilient Farming for Small Farms

Given the high concentration of small and marginal farmers—the most vulnerable group to climate change—and a high score on climate change vulnerability index provided by CRIDA*, the district is suitable for promoting climate resilient farming for small-sized farms. Solar pumps would assist in the same through low-carbon agriculture.

Parameter Value Percentile
Proportion of small and marginal cultivators 98% 93
Score on Climate Change Vulnerability Index 0.57 86

Bhagalpur, Bihar
Summary
Number of operational holdings
488,492
Average size of operational holding (Ha)
0.32
No. of cultivators using diesel pumps
423,531
No. of cultivators using electric pumps
2,480
Parameters (value, percentile)
Unirrigated net sown area ('000 ha)
56
50
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area
6%
52
Water Availability Index
1
100
Monthly per capita expenditure of rural agricultural households (INR)
933
21
Crop revenue per holding (INR)
14,463
6
No. of rural and semi-urban bank branches per 10,000 farmers
3.81
11
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore)
0.2
21
No. of calls made at Kisan Call Centre (between 1.1.2011 - 31.12.2015)
2,549
71
Level of farm mechanisation (tractors, harvesters, threshers per ha)
5.92
100