India Making Efforts to Push Clean Energy Use in Farming: Power Minister
Urges developed nations to allow small farmers access to fertilizers, markets
India’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) R K Singh said that the country is aiding farmers with millions of solar water pumps while providing them with ammonia-based fertilizers by producing sufficient green ammonia— which will ultimately also cut India’s dependence on gas imports.
He urged the developed nations to help smallholder farmers in developing countries with cheaper access to irrigation, fertilizers, and markets. Singh was addressing ministers from different countries at the 53rd World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos.
Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program, which was launched in 2019, India has been providing central financial support with an outlay of ₹334.2 billion (~$4.6 billion) to the farmers.
Under Component A of the KUSUM scheme, individual farmers, cooperatives, and farmer producer organizations with cultivable or barren lands can install solar projects of 500 kW to 2 MW in size. Under Component B, individual agrarians are getting government aid to install standalone solar pumps of up to 7.5 HP. Under Component C, individual farmers can avail the government support to solarize pumps of up to 7.5 HP.
Under the PM-KUSUM Component B program, over 800,000 standalone solar pumps were allocated to different states by the MNRE.
In October last year, MNRE amended tender provisions for empaneling vendors under Component B of the PM-KUSUM.
The ministry had also scrapped the performance bank guarantee requirement for the solarization of agricultural feeders early last year.
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Tran Hong Ha, agreed with Singh and added, “Farmers in developing countries are usually not wealthy and need partnership among all stakeholders – producers, consumers and others along the value chain – in order to contribute knowledge and share profits.”
Mercom had previously reported on how agrivoltaics could also help solve the land scarcity problem for solar projects while supplying the required energy.
Early this year, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) invited bids to commission 666,250 off-grid solar water pumps with a capacity of 1-10 HP in select states across India under Component B of the PM KUSUM program.