Kottayam, Kerala | Solar Pumps Tool

Kottayam, Kerala

In the district, a relatively large proportion of the net sown area is unirrigated, indicating high irrigation demand. 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 high for the district, suggesting higher purchasing capacity of the farmers here. The district has a relatively high penetration of banks in rural and semi-rural areas, facilitating higher access to institutional credit for farmers. The district has a relatively high proportion of small and marginal farmers. The district appears in the group of districts, which show (very) low vulnerability 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 Suitable
Promote 1 HP and sub-HP pumps Suitable

Individually owned off-grid solar pumps

Limited Suitability

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

Parameter Value Percentile
Number of cultivators reporting use of diesel pumps 0 0
Water Availability Index 1 100
Crop revenue per holding (INR) 15,459 15
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 141.1 74

Solar based water as a service

Suitable

Availability of groundwater within the safe limit, a relatively high proportion of unirrigated area, and a rather high concentration of small and marginal farmers in the district make the water-as-a-service model a potential way to promote solar-based irrigation. The model could help in improving irrigation equity, without requiring a farmer to bear an upfront cost to purchase a pump.

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 88% 79

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% 84
Water Availability Index 1 100
Proportion of marginal cultivators 94% 96
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 141.1 74

Leveraging Solar Pumps to Promote Policy Objectives

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

Har Khet ko Pani

A relatively high proportion of the net sown area in the district is unirrigated, indicating high irrigation demand. Solar pumps can help improve access to underground irrigation as part of Har Khet ko Pani.

Parameter Value Percentile
Unirrigated net sown area as a share of total net sown area 88% 79

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) 141.1 74

Doubling Farmers’ Income – Crop Intensity

A relatively high proportion of the district’s net sown area is unirrigated. Lack of access to irrigation is one of the major barriers to growing crops beyond two conventional seasons, rabi and kharif. Ensuring irrigation access through solar power will help improve cropping intensity and move towards the aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Parameter Value Percentile
Unirrigated net sown area as a share of total net sown area 88% 79

Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation – Farm Power Availability

There is a comparatively low level of farm mechanisation in the district and a relatively low proportion of electric pump users, indicating an opportunity to increase the exisiting level of mechanisation through solar based irrigation. Solar powered irrigation could be deployed under the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation to improve farm power availability.

Parameter Value Percentile
Level of farm mechanisation (tractors, harvesters, threshers per ha) 0 0
Proportion of cultivators reporting use of electric pumps 4% 38

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 86% 98

Kottayam, Kerala
Summary
Number of operational holdings
415,368
Average size of operational holding (Ha)
0.28
No. of cultivators using diesel pumps
0
No. of cultivators using electric pumps
15,054
Parameters (value, percentile)
Unirrigated net sown area ('000 ha)
90
62
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area
28%
85
Water Availability Index
1
100
Monthly per capita expenditure of rural agricultural households (INR)
3,139
99
Crop revenue per holding (INR)
56,469
38
No. of rural and semi-urban bank branches per 10,000 farmers
13
81
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore)
141.1
74
No. of calls made at Kisan Call Centre (between 1.1.2011 - 31.12.2015)
735
35
Level of farm mechanisation (tractors, harvesters, threshers per ha)
0
0