Solar-powered irrigation is being aggressively promoted by the government as an affordable and sustainable solution for agriculture as well as the rising burden of electricity subsidy. But will solar pumps become a win-win situation for all stakeholders?

This paper seeks to assist policy-makers and researchers in India who are working to promote the uptake of off-grid, solar-powered pumps for groundwater irrigation. It begins by setting out key WEF linkages of importance for off-grid solar pumps.

A reliable supply of water is critical for agricultural intensification and yield improvement. Technological devices that lift, transport and apply water contribute to increased yield from improved crop varieties and high input cultivation.

PMKSY having AIBP, CAD, SMI, RRR and Ground Water components was approved by Cabinet during July, 2015 for a period from 2015-16 to 2019-20. Operational guidelines for Ground Water component were issued by the Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR vide OM no P-15011/24/2016-SPR/2037-2105 dated July 2016.

India, the world's largest groundwater user, withdraws about 230 billion m3 groundwater annually for irrigation.

International Water Resources Association (IWRA) launch policy brief “Sustainable Groundwater Development for Improved Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa”. At least 400 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa source their domestic water supply from groundwater. Yet this often abundant resource only accounts for around 20% of total irrigation.

Limited access to water, droughts, floods and other climatic conditions are major challenges to food security in Ghana. Over 70% of smallholder farmers in the country practice rainfed agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to rainfall variability. Flooding and waterlogging of farmlands limit land use and crop productivity.

India is on a path to reduce its carbon emission intensity with a major thrust on increasing the grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity. However, the carbon footprint in agriculture is on the rise. Heavy subsidies for electricity and diesel to pump groundwater for irrigated agriculture, combined with lack of regulations on water withdrawal, are resulting in both groundwater over-exploitation and increased carbon emissions.

Using groundwater for agricultural production has the potential to build resilience in food insecure regions of the world. Use of groundwater can boost agricultural production, improve rural incomes and strengthen farmers' ability to withstand climate shocks and water variability.

The objective of this case study is to understand the application of ICT technologies for rural groundwater management in China, and it’s impacts on the rural poor.

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