International water meet in Anand on innovative experiments to double farmers' incomes

An International Conference on “Building Climate Resilience for Doubling Farmers’ Income” is being organized at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand from December 4 to 6 with the participation of about 250 scientists, experts, researchers, development professionals and policy makers from India and around the world.
The 9th International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Program Partners’ meet will see presentation of over 100 new pieces of research in 15 thematic sessions. The meet will include a field visit to Dhundi solar farmers’ co-operative, an innovative experiment implemented by the IWMI-Tata Program. The experiment was followed by NDDB and IWMI-Tata creating a similar co-operative at Mujkuva village near Anand.
“These models have inspired the Government of Gujarat’s Rs 900 crore Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) pilot scheme and Government of India’s Rs 45,000 crore KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan) scheme”, an IWMI communiqué said, adding, “Under both these schemes, tubewell owners will be offered solar panels to run irrigation pumps. Like in the IWMI-Tata pilots, they will have the option to sell surplus solar power to the grid.”
The Partners’ Meet will also discuss another solar irrigation field pilot IWMI-Tata has implemented in Chakhaji village of Samastipur, Bihar. Unlike western and peninsular India, Bihar has abundant groundwater but poor energy supply. IWMI-Tata has in all promoted 16 solar irrigation service providers that sell irrigation service to over 300 farmers at a highly affordable rate. IWMI-Tata researchers have argued that if promoted in this manner, solar pumps can transform farming in densely populated Ganga basin and help double farmer incomes. 
A key thematic session at the meet will discuss the Government of India’s Namami Gange program. According to IWMI, “Researchers argue that Ganga cannot become clean unless its dry season flow is substantially augmented between Hardwar and Kanpur. IWMI-Tata will present evidence to show that this can be easily done by better management of irrigation in western Uttar Pradesh.”

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