Solar Irrigation Pumping System
Solar Irrigation Pumping System (SIPS) Program:
Under the GPDP program, RDF has come forward to provide essential support to the farmers in order to ensure incessant supply of irrigation water in the southern & northern part of the country. The prime objective of this program is, to ensure food security through the agricultural development and this idea is the brain child of the CEO of RDF. Since Mr. M Golam Mostofa the CEO of RDF is from Barguna district, he realizes the extreme necessity of proper irrigation system for the farmers of this area and accordingly he interlinked some major elements like modern, innovative and cost effective technology with food security issue by the proper utilization of available resources.
As we know that there are 1.3 million diesels driven and 0.4 million electricity operated irrigation pumps are functioning in agriculture sector in Bangladesh. For operating these pumps huge diesel and electricity is required. On the other hand price hike is a major dilemma to continue irrigation through diesel or electricity. So this is high time to search for third option of source of energy to keep the irrigation pumps running for the greater national interest of reducing food insecurity.
Considering the overall scenario and based on the social commitment RDF tagged Solar Irrigation Pumping System (SIPS) with food security issue of the coastal districts and accordingly RDF have inaugurated SIPS component under its Green Power & Development Program (GPDP). RDF believed that if adequate and proper irrigation is ensured the crops production rate will be higher and thus food security can be ensured. These are the elements which are correlated with each other.
The Honorable Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Dr. Atiur Rahman with the potential CEOs’ and DMDs’ of Rupali Bank Ltd. Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. NCC Bank Ltd. Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd. Mercantile Bank Ltd. inaugurated RDF Solar Irrigation Pumping System (SIPS) on 17th July 2010. Governor’s visit followed significant impact on more agricultural production in the coastal area. The people of the project area are now well organized, well trained and efficient in agricultural production. Crops production of the said project has increased and family relationship and ties among the villagers are now being developed.
The success story of SIPS encouraged RDF to move forward aggressively and on that consequence RDF has successfully installed another 122 SIPS in Kushtia, Meherpur, Chuadanga & Panchagarh districts. These 122 SIPS are covering about 6604 Bighas of land for ensuring 3 cycles of production in a year in the said areas to maximize the crops production. The long term objective of RDF is not only addressing the food security but also to supplement Govt’s efforts in reducing power crisis and import of fuel. It is worth mentioning to note that RDF is not only the pioneer but also the first in the SAARC countries to install solar irrigation pumping system.
According to the draft policy of renewable energy, a target has been set by Bangladesh government for generating 5% of total electricity by the year 2015 and 10% by the year 2020 from renewable energy source. Power division has taken an initiative of generating “500 megawatt solar energy development program” utilizing immense potentiality of solar energy, which has been approved by the Honb’le Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Under this program Power division has taken initiative for Solar Irrigation Program of replacing 18,000 diesel driven agriculture irrigation pumps by solar irrigation pumps (Ref. No. 27.00.0000.093.33.014.12.226 of Power Division of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, People’s Republic of Bangladesh).
In view of the above situation, it is now the appropriate time to take the advantage of this discovered and endless energy source to use in agricultural sector of Bangladesh. Soon enough, when the fossil fuels will run short, we will have to go back to the renewable sources for our every need. Other countries of the world has engaged themselves with this modern technology long before.
During up to 2017, RDF installed 139 plants at different parts of the country and in future RDF management has decided to install 500 more SIPS plants in greater Kushtia region under its Green Resource Mobilization Program (GRMP). Pictorial and statistical data of SIPS are shown below:
|Pump Capacity||No. of pumps||Land Coverage (Bigha)||No. of farmer||No. of Beneficiaries||No. of Remove Diesel Pump||Diesel Save in Litter (/YR)||Total Power Generation (MW)|
Impact to the national economy: