The Solar-Powered Smart Farm Unveiled Via India & Sweden Partnership Promises 80% Water Savings

The Solar-Powered Smart Farm Unveiled Via India & Sweden Partnership Promises 80% Water Savings India & Sweden unveil Smart Farm

Small-hold farmers are extremely vulnerable to erratic climatic conditions, and often do not have access to resources to address the challenges confronting them. With a goal to equip them better, India and Sweden have partnered up and launched a solar-powered smart farm that will enable them to save water and increase food production in a sustainable fashion.

Growing Food Sustainably

The modern smart farm will encourage a sustainable food production system and allow small-scale farmers to maximise food production. What’s more, with the help of the smart farm, they will be able to grow more food with the employment of solar energy and much less water. This could prove to be a gamechanger, given that irrigation requires significant amounts of water. At the same time, reliance on fossil fuels for producing food will also be curbed with the initiative.

The initiative of the Smart Farm has come as a result of bilateral MoUs on energy and environment signed between the two countries.

Innovative Technology Employed

Established at premises of the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), the Smart Farm makes use of an innovative technology called Mobile Pro MKII introduced by Spowdi, a Swedish firm that offers solar powered solutions for farmers to enable them to combat the challenges that difficult terrains and conditions might pose.

The solar-powered technology in combination with drip irrigation, makes sure that water is distributed directly to the plant drop by drop. This, in turn, promises farmers 80% water savings. A mobile powers up the system that boasts of a 150-watt solar panel.

NISE is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to facilitate R&D, skill development activities in the field of solar energy technologies NISE. NISE also supports the ministry in the implementation of the prestigious National Solar mission.

The NISE is currently reviewing the Spowdi Mobile Pro MKII for performance and its potential to drip-irrigate a 400 sq. metre land area with accurate water volumes and maximum pressure.

The micro-irrigation farm powered by solar energy will be a demo farm as of now. Vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, chillies, that are cultivated at the farm will be used in the canteen of the NISE.

Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, stated that “Sustainable farming is the future of agriculture, and now is the time to act in this direction. By adopting ultra-modern technologies and eco-friendly practices, we can revolutionise the agricultural landscape.

Dr Jai Prakash SinghDeputy Director General of NISE (MNRE), Government of India, informed, “Climate change poses a threat to agriculture and solar energy is an important solution for sustainable agriculture. The solar based micro-irrigation Farm, introduced in collaboration with NISE, showcases a futuristic micro-irrigation system that can help deal with the challenges of watering farmland in a more efficient way.”

Henrik Johansson, the CEO of Spowdi added, “On the global arena today, water, sustainable farming, livelihoods for women and innovation, are on top of the agenda. We view small-hold farmers as businesswomen and businessmen who should have the opportunity to adopt innovative technologies and it this can be achieved by creating a Smart Farming ecosystem. Smart farming methods and innovative technology can empower small-hold farmers in India, many of whom are women, to have an increased harvest, higher profitability and better livelihoods.”

India has been making concerted efforts to support small-scale farmers with solar-powered agriculture and this initiative could be one among many measures towards this goal. PM-KUSUM is an ambitious initiative in this direction.

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