Most of the villages in INDIA gets only four hours of electricity. The electric board gives power in shifts one week it is during the day and the next it is during the night. So this means todays farmers not only have limited source of water supply but limited source of energy to power the machines needed for irrigation.
I am facing the same problem for my mango plantations, High manpower cost, limited availability of water and power is forcing farmers to move from main stream cultivations like Rice,Sugar to Plantations. Plantations require less resources and man power. I will not be wrong if I say nuclear family system that is being widely adopted in INDIA as one of the reasons for the problems farmers are facing in-term's of manpower.
Most of the farmers have automated their irrigation system, which is a relief to them to certain extent, i,e they need not to be present for the power to come day/night. Government subsidy for farmers is made this solution a hit!.
I plan to follow the same approach, but thought of looking at alternatives before I jump in to automating watering system for my Mango plantation.
My first thought was to solve the power problem, I looked around for solar powered water pumps and to my surprise I found quite a few vendors delivering them already. What made think was the price at which this was being made available to farmers, A decent solar powered water pump costs between 4.4lakhs to 6.5 lakhs, this is a huge investment for farmers. Considering the ROI this is case of suicide for a poor farmer.
I strongly encourage today's political parties to look at encouraging use of alternative power in Irrigation!!!, Are you guys listening......
TataBPSolar is one company that provides this solution and I appreciate their effort!!.