Solar pumps to boost Barind harvests
Newly commissioned solar-powered irrigation pumps have opened up a new door in the agriculture sector as farmers can boost their farming yields through irrigation facilities round the year in the Barind area.
In addition to benefiting the farmers economically, the pumps will contribute to reducing the gradually increasing pressure on power supply grids.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority has set up two low-lift pumps (used in transferring surface water) adjacent to the Sarmangla canal at Jagpur and Birail areas and another two near ponds in Gopalpur and Paldevpur areas under Godagari upazila spending around Tk 1 crore.
After lifting water from the canal and ponds, the pumps will irrigate farming fields. The solar-powered pumps have the capacity to provide irrigation for more than 2,000 bighas of cropping fields round the year.
Around 10 solar panels will be installed to operate the pumps for irrigation under a three-year project titled “Extension of Irrigation in Barind Area through Conservation of Water in Canal”. The project is being implemented in eight upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts.
The project's director, Shamsul Huda, told the news agency that the project has been adopted to enhance crop production through using solar-powered irrigation pumps in dry areas.
Each of the 24-piece solar modules of 720V and 5 horsepower can generate a discharging capacity of 300 litres per hour. Lifespan of the system is expected to be 20 years.
Shamsul said the power produced through fossil fuels results in emission of carbon and that always polluted the environment. Besides, its production cost was high, he said.
However, generating power through solar panels is a new idea and characterised by the fact that it was renewable, the production cost was less and was free from carbon. As a whole, the solar-powered system has a significant contribution towards lessening the pressure on the gradually increasing demand for power.
More solar-powered systems could be established for the development of the region in the days ahead.
A farmer of Birail village, Mosharraf Hossain, said they would no more depend on the mercy of power supply grids for crop production if the solar-powered irrigation system functions successfully.
Around 35 to 50 bighas of land could be brought under crop farming in the area through using the modern technology.
Under the project, a requisite number of pumps, pontoons and pipelines will be made available at different points of the Padma, Mohananda and Atrai rivers to transfer water from the rivers to the canals and further to farming fields.
Shamsul said more than 38.85 kilometres of derelict canals would be re-excavated in phases besides the construction of 16 submerged pipelines for creating surface water reservoirs.
Around 1.23 lakh metres of underground uPVC pipelines will be commissioned to enhance the irrigation efficiency. At least 96 low-lift pumps will be set up for using the conserved water in the re-excavated canals for irrigation purposes.
On successful completion of the works by December 2017, the scheme will help produce about 37,800 tonnes of food through providing irrigation to 3,780 hectares of land from the conserved water sources annually, he added.