Silver Bullet: Are Solar Pumps a Panacea for Irrigation, Farmer Distress and Discom Losses?
Solar-powered irrigation is being aggressively promoted by the government as an affordable and sustainable solution for agriculture as well as the rising burden of electricity subsidy. But will solar pumps become a win-win situation for all stakeholders? Can they alleviate farmer distress when inclusion of small and marginal farmers is still doubtful? Can they assuage discom losses despite the continuing subsidy model? And, most importantly, are the groundwater concerns adequately addressed? This report closely examines these issues to suggest ways to make solar-powered agricultural pumps a more comprehensive and holistic solution.