“If my pumps are provided to farmers throughout the country, they can save fuel worth taka twelve thousand crore a year,” claimed Abdus Sobhan of Shailokupa upazila. Sobhan, a retired college teacher, has invented three designs of efficient irrigation pumps that can ensure continuous irrigation to crop field at a lower cost. The pumps will be able to deliver double the quantity of water compared to standard pumps even from 26 feet depth of the ground level.
Abdus Sobhan was born in 1949 at Shailokupa Shikhakpara (masterpara) of the town to the late Ahmed Ali. He owns a farm of 30 bighas at the village. During his teaching days at Nurunnahar Govt. Womens' College in Jhenidah, he looked after his own lands in Shailkupa, At the time of supplying irrigation water to the croplands, he realised that he was spending a lot of money behind irrigation. Besides, in the dry season the pumps sometimes fail to pump water from the the underground. He started thinking. In 2010, he invented a four by four inch “water pump” at his own research centre, called 'Tiyan Engineering Workshop'.
Some aspects of the pump are astonishing. Compared to the pumps available on the market, Sobhan's pump consumes about 50 percent of the fuel. Even more surprising is that his pumps have a life of 12-15 years, while the existing irrigation pumps in the market work for three to four years. The pump is able to procure water from 26 inches under the ground, Sobhan added. Each pump weighs 40 to 41 kilograms, while the existing pumps in the market weigh 22-23 kilograms. Each pump will cost about taka 5,500, he added.
Abdus Sobhan has invented another pump, namely “Vertical Pump” in 2014. It will be set 10 feet below the surface to ensure water even in severe dry season. As there will be less pressure during the water supply in the underground, it will also save 50 per cent of the fuel cost. The pump runs at 2,800-3,000 revolution per minute (RPM), and ensures speedy extraction of water, Sobhan said. Similar to the previous two, Abdus Sobhan has invented a third pump, named 'Galon'. With the help of a small fan with the pump, this pump will also operate at 3,000 RPM. The inventor claimed that the country has been spending foreign currency to the tune of taka 24,000 crore for the irrigation fuel purposes every year. But the pumps he has invented might save 50 per cent of the fuel cost if those are supplied to the farmers.
Ramprashad Biswas of Shailkupa village who is using Sobhan's pump said that this pump is better than the existing pump in the market. It is durable and can provide more water. It costs only Tk 5,500 while the foreign one costs at Tk 12,000 to 15,000. It also saves fuel.
Md. Eftakharul Alom, Environmental Safeguard Consultant of IAPP World Bank Project said, “We have tested Sobhan's pumps in March this year. We understand that it will be helpful for the farmers. But more tests are needed to ensure that it is indeed fuel saving, and if the tests are positive, we will work together with Abdus Sobhan to market his pumps.