The state government has taken several steps to achieve the Prime Minister's goal of doubling farmers' income by 2022. Every possible effort is being made by the state government to strengthen the economy of farmers and horticulturist. For which modern technologies and innovation are being used in agriculture sector. To make water accessible in every farmer's field the state government has started a solar-powered irrigation project in the state through the Department of Agriculture.
Effective implementation of Centre and State Government sponsored irrigation schemes was being ensured to further increase the agricultural sector and to provide irrigation facilities on a large scale in the state. The solar irrigation schemes have proved successful in reducing the pressure on traditional energy sources, as it is environment friendly and cost of installation is also less. The use of solar energy in irrigation projects has been beneficial in saving energy.
Under the Solar Irrigation Scheme, necessary infrastructure is being established to lift water from solar pumps in the state. A provision of 90 percent assistance is provided to small and marginal farmers for individually installing pumping machinery for irrigation. A provision of 80 percent assistance is also made for middle or big farmers to install pumping machinery at individual level. For installation of pumping machinery at community level, 100 percent expenditure is being borne by the government for farmers of all categories.
A budget provision of Rs 200 crore has been made for five years under this scheme, under which 5,850 solar pumps will be installed across the state. Presently, 1189.71 hectare land of the state has been brought under solar irrigation scheme . About 1,210 solar pumps have been installed in the state which has benefited 2066 farmers of the state. In the year 2019-20, Rs 1958.75 lakh was spent on this scheme.
Several farmers have benefitted from solar powered irrigation scheme in various districts of the state, which include 570 in district Kangra, 406 in Mandi, 66 in Bilaspur, 144 in Chamba, 131 in Hamirpur, 13 in Kinnaur, 73 in Kullu, 71 in Lahaul and Spiti, 165 in Shimla, 108 in Sirmour, 51 in Solan and 268 farmers in Una.
PM Kusum scheme also started in the state
Besides this, Central Government's ambitious irrigation scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Surksha evam Utthan Mahaabhiyan Yojana (PM KUSUM) has been implemented in the state to provide irrigation facility to the farmers. The scheme has been implemented in the state to provide irrigation facility the farmers could grow more cash crops and increase their income.
The government has launched the PM Kusum Yojana to provide reliable irrigation facility to the farmers especially in remote areas where there is no availability of electricity to lift water for irrigation. Under the scheme, with the use of solar pumps irrigation water would be made available to farmers in the fields for which development of necessary infrastructure has been proposed in the state.
Under PM KUSUM Yojna, a provision of 85 percent financial assistance for pumping machinery has been made for setting up of solar pumps at personal and community level by farmers. In present financial year, a provision of Rs. 12 crore has been made under the scheme. A target of setting up one thousand solar pumps has been set during this year, for which 50 percent expenditure would be borne by Centre Government and 35 percent by State Government, whereas 15 percent would be borne by the beneficiary.
Under the scheme, priority would be given to Kisan Vikas Sangh, Krishak Vikas Sangh and registered organization of farmers, which are registered under Society Act-2006. Under the scheme, priority would also be given to small, marginal farmers and to such farmers who are dependent on rain for irrigation. He said that those farmers who have the availability of water source for drip/ sprinkler are also eligible for the scheme.
Farmer can apply for providing assistance under the scheme in Sub division at Land Conservation Office. The farmer has to submit land respective documents, self attested ration card, photocopy of adhaar card, land certificate and affidavit. For further information regarding the scheme the farmer can contact the nearest sub divisional land conservation officer, Agriculture Officer of Block Development Office, Deputy Director Agriculture or office of Director Agriculture.