The national programme for solarisation of agriculture tube wells has been approved to convert the existing 100,000 agriculture tube wells to solar energy, which will reduce the burden of electricity and fuel on the users.
Under the plan, the existing 50,000 diesel and 50,000 electric power tube wells will be converted to solar energy during a period of three years.
The project will be executed by the Federal Water Management Cell (FWMC) and provincial departments of agriculture under the supervision of the Ministry of National Food Security. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved Rs377.236 billion for the project.
Director General FWMC Kifayat Zaman said while talking to WealthPK that the project has been devised with an objective to enhance agricultural productivity through clean and green energy. He said the scheme will prove a milestone to relieve the farmers from ever-increasing electricity tariff. He said small farmers will be facilitated under this scheme to convert their existing tube wells to solar energy.
Kifayat said that under this mechanism, the federal, provincial governments, and the farmers willing for solarisation will bear one-third each of the total cost, whereas in Islamabad, the government would pay 67% and the rest will be paid by the farmers.
Highlighting the respective guidelines of the scheme, Kifayat said that solar equipment matching the power requirement of the pump/submersible pump shall be provided to the farmers. He said the respective requirements regarding availability of cultivable land and groundwater, and the selection of the sites for tube wells will be determined by respective provincial departments.
All Pakistan Kissan Ittehad Coordinator Punjab Rana Amjad Ali told WealthPK that the scheme will prove a blessing for small farmers.
He said farmers had been facing challenges of increased electricity tariff, which will be addressed to a large extent by converting the tube wells to solar energy. He said the government must also ensure the availability of fertilisers and quality seeds to farmers to enhance agricultural yields.
The conversion of tube wells to solar energy would reduce the per acre cost of farmers, and would also reduce dependence on imported fuel, saving precious foreign exchange.