Koch Bihar, West Bengal | Solar Pumps Tool Made with Humane Club

Koch Bihar, West Bengal

In the district, horticulture crops occupy a relatively high proportion of gross cropped area, raising the economic viability of solar pumps here. 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. For average crop revenue per holding, the district appears among the top 25 percentile of districts, implying higher investment capacity of the farmers here. The number of medium and long-term institutional loans disbursed in the district is comparatively large, suggesting the availability of credit amongst farmers for potential investments. The district has a relatively high proportion of small and marginal farmers.

Deployment Approaches

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

Individually owned off-grid solar pumps

Suitable

Availability of groundwater within the safe limit, a comparatively high concentration of diesel pump users, a relatively high crop revenue per holding, and institutional credit disbursed in relatively large amounts in the district make it a suitable candidate for the promotion of solar-based irrigation through the private ownership of solar pumps. Private ownership provides easy and reliable access to irrigation for farmers.

Parameter Value Percentile
Number of cultivators reporting use of diesel pumps 178,523 93
Water Availability Index 1 100
Crop revenue per holding (INR) 294,108 91
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 315.8 88

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 94% 76
Unirrigated net sown area as a share of total net sown area 34% 30

Promote 1 HP and sub-HP pumps

Suitable

1 HP and sub-HP pumps could help marginal farmers meet their needs in this district. A relatively high proportion of horticulture crops under gross cropped area, a rather high concentration of marginal farmers, a comparatively high disbursement of institutional credit to marginal farmers, and the availability of groundwater within the safe limit would drive the success of such small-sized pumps in the district. Such small pumps could also be put to use for lift irrigation, provided there is access to surface water.

Parameter Value Percentile
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area 19% 76
Water Availability Index 1 100
Proportion of marginal cultivators 79% 74
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 315.8 88

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 94% 76
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year to small and marginal cultivators (in INR Crore) 315.8 88

Per Drop More Crop

In the district, crops suitable for drip and sprinkler irrigation occupy a relatively high proportion of gross cropped area, making it easy to adopt such high precision irrigation methods. Solar pumps, along with other efficient and precise water application devices, could be deployed under Per Drop More Crop to promote efficient irrigation.

Parameter Value Percentile
Area under crops suitable for drip and sprinkler irrigation as a share of total cropped area 27% 58

Koch Bihar, West Bengal
Summary
Number of operational holdings
323,118
Average size of operational holding (Ha)
0.84
No. of cultivators using diesel pumps
178,523
No. of cultivators using electric pumps
51,677
Parameters (value, percentile)
Unirrigated net sown area ('000 ha)
88
61
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area
19%
76
Water Availability Index
1
100
Monthly per capita expenditure of rural agricultural households (INR)
926
20
Crop revenue per holding (INR)
294,108
91
No. of rural and semi-urban bank branches per 10,000 farmers
8.7
62
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore)
315.8
88
No. of calls made at Kisan Call Centre (between 1.1.2011 - 31.12.2015)
1,050
43
Level of farm mechanisation (tractors, harvesters, threshers per ha)
0.15
40