Summit on tech role in farming

The World Sustainable Development Summit here today discussed several initiatives for transfer of technology for sustainable agriculture practice.

By Saidul Khan
  • Published 7.10.16

New Delhi, Oct. 6: The World Sustainable Development Summit here today discussed several initiatives for transfer of technology for sustainable agriculture practice.

At the thematic session on energising agri-food value chain through clean energy organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), success models were demonstrates for extraction of clean and green energy.

REEEP invests in clean energy markets in developing countries to reduce CO2 emissions and build prosperity.

TERI director general Ajay Mathur in the opening session dwelt on the role of judicious energy consumption. He said over irrigation in Punjab has made the land saline, which calls for bringing in modernisation and optimisation.

Resources are getting limited with the increase demand for food, he added.

Mathur suggested that it is important for states in India to adopt success models for implementation of energy efficiency activities.

Himanshu Mishra, co-founder of Gau Gas, a collapsible bio-gas unit, talked about value of the technology, which produces gas, electricity, organic fertilizer, reduces carbon emission and rejuvenates soil fertility.

"If there is increasing use of bio-gas for cooking, millions of LPG units and firewood can be saved," said Mishra.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit to this correspondent, Mishra said, "Such intervention can be started in the Northeast as well in the farm practices as they would be able to generate affordable energy."

He said if the technology is integrated in dairy farm, the energy generated could be used for milk chilling, milking system, water pumping and so on. He said the surplus energy could be transferred to bio-grid.

Mishra suggested that entrepreneurs in the Northeast could set up enterprises in collaboration with them for transfer of technology, which will help farmers to a large extent.

"Bio-gas in a cattle-rich country like ours is one of the most affordable sources of energy. According to statistics, there are over a lakh bio-gas plants across the country. However, a preliminary survey has revealed that only 1 per cent of rural households have adapted to the technology," Mishra added.

Kartik Wahi, co-founder of Claro Energy, a solar energy solution, said their company has been able to provide access to cheap irrigation from solar-powered pump sets in Bihar, which has helped the farmers during poor monsoon.

Wahi said farmers with access to cheaper irrigation from solar pumps could water their crops more frequently and managed to save money on irrigation, as cost of diesel was very high.

When asked if their company was willing to expand its base in the Northeast, Wahi said if there are promoters, who would collaborate with them, they would be happy to transfer their technology and their experiences to the region.

On conventional pumps, Wahi said it can be made solar-ready by adding three components - solar modules of 8.5kW capacity, variable frequency controller and remote monitoring systems - to the existing tube wells.

The company is, at present, working the Bihar.