Nuagaon is a village in the Harichandanpur block of Keonjhar district in Odisha. Unlike the previous years, in the winter of 2021, Nuagaon witnessed lush green patches of vegetation on the otherwise barren lands along its rivulets. On a closer look, women farmers like Kanchan Devi are growing chilies, potatoes and cauliflowers on 1.2 bighas of land. For these first generation vegetable growers, a transition from using homemade manual sprinklers to solar powered sub-HP pumps for irrigation, has enabled them to reliably cultivate additional land area.
“Earlier I used to plant 100 saplings, but now my field has 1500 saplings of chilli”
The key enabler here is a sub-HP solar pump which has been designed for surface water pumping, to cater to small farmers with land holdings of less than 1 acre. The low head, high discharge (1 liter per sec) pump by Khetworks, can be easily carried by one or two women to the source of water. Its plug and play mode, which connects the solar panels with the pump, is easy to operate and can be used by all farmers independently.
With this pump, Kanchan Devi has generated an incremental income of INR 60,000 from the cultivation of chilli, in the last season alone. 200 other farmers in Khunti have also adopted the pump and benefitted in a similar way. The increase in cultivated land and productivity has been further supported through the creation of market and trader linkages at the farm gate.
Sustain Plus is similarly supporting other farmers in Limkheda block and has enabled over 170 pumps of varying capacities (3HP, 5HP, 7.5HP). Drip irrigation and mulching are also being integrated as best practices along with the solar pump installation to optimise water delivery and application.