Maldah, West Bengal | Solar Pumps Tool Made with Humane Club

Maldah, 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. 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 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 171,234 93
Water Availability Index 0.97 94
Crop revenue per holding (INR) 145,639 74
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 29.5 51

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 0.97 94
Proportion of small and marginal cultivators 96% 84
Unirrigated net sown area as a share of total net sown area 44% 36

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 23% 82
Water Availability Index 0.97 94
Proportion of marginal cultivators 83% 82
Medium and long term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore) 29.5 51

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 96% 84
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year to small and marginal cultivators (in INR Crore) 29.5 51

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 96% 84
Score on Climate Change Vulnerability Index 0.56 84

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 33% 66

Maldah, West Bengal
Summary
Number of operational holdings
392,227
Average size of operational holding (Ha)
0.75
No. of cultivators using diesel pumps
171,234
No. of cultivators using electric pumps
49,220
Parameters (value, percentile)
Unirrigated net sown area ('000 ha)
125
70
Area under horticulture crops as a share of gross cropped area
23%
82
Water Availability Index
0.97
94
Monthly per capita expenditure of rural agricultural households (INR)
870
14
Crop revenue per holding (INR)
145,639
74
No. of rural and semi-urban bank branches per 10,000 farmers
6.04
40
Medium and long-term institutional credit disbursed in a year (in INR Crore)
29.5
51
No. of calls made at Kisan Call Centre (between 1.1.2011 - 31.12.2015)
1,454
53
Level of farm mechanisation (tractors, harvesters, threshers per ha)
0.66
78