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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 05 August, 2019

  • Min Read

From Plate to Plough: In the shade of solar trees.

Gs- III: From Plate to Plough: In the shade of solar trees.

Context

The recent statement of our Finance Minister about transforming Annadata (farmer)into an Urjadata (producer of solar power) in her maiden Budget speech.

How

  • Help farmers produce solar power on their lands
  • Farmers occupy the largest chunks of land in this country.

Annadata Becoming an Urjadata:

The recent statement of Finance Minister on doubling farmer’s income is the idea of making the annadata an urjadata. This model will be much more inclusive and can help augment their incomes significantly. The two variants of this are:

Replacing all pump sets with solar pumps

One, replace all pump sets, especially diesel ones, with solar pumps and the excess power generated through solar panels can be purchased by state governments at a price that gives the farmer a good margin over the cost of producing solar power.

Growing solar trees

Second, encourage farmers to grow “solar trees” on their lands at a height of about 10-12 feet in a manner that enough sunlight keeps coming to plants below.Under this variant, the farmer can keep growing two irrigated crops as he has been doing, but the solar tree generates a lot of excess power that can be purchased by the state government.

What surveys show

A global survey on this shows that it is being practised in many countries from Japan to China to Germany, and India is ripe for this.

Conclusion:

  • Since the power consumption per hectare (as shown in the graph) in Indian agriculture is very low and the above model holds great promise for several poorer states.
  • But the ongoing tariff war and the imposition of safeguards duty on solar panels is becoming a growing challenge.
  • Innovative Financing measures such as clean energy funds, generation-based incentive-linked loan repayment and green bonds could give a financial boost to the successful implementation of this model.
  • Reform in the Agriculture sector is most instrumental to effectively improving the lives of the farmers, improving their lives and bringing economic stability by giving them a sense of security and hope.
  • However, they have to be effectively planned and implemented at various levels with a multifaceted approach to achieve the desirable and feasible target.

Source: Indian Express


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