From the Fields


Field visit in Terai (Madhesh Province) Chhipaharmai Rural Municipality Nepal and watershed conservation program site of Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal (CDAFN)

Photo: The Solar array of the SoLAR pilot site in Chhipaharmai Rural Municipality visited by Dr Mark Smith IWMI Director General

There was a field visit in Terai (Madhesh Province) on April 25-26, 2023, led by Dr Mark Smith IWMI Director General (DG) along with Dr Manohara Khadka (IWMI Nepal CR) and Mr Shisher Shrestha (National Researcher) and with the provincial authorities. The delegation visited the SoLAR Pilot site and interacted with the Local Government Chair and Farmer User groups. A meeting was held with the Chairperson and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Chhipaharmai Rural Municipality on water challenges for local development. The team met with 8 farmers, 2 local government staff, and 1 person from the private sector during the field visit at Chhipaharmai Rural Municipality. Also, roundtable discussions took place on the various issues of water security and Transformative Futures for Water Security (TFWS). There was a field visit to the watershed conservation program site of the Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal (CDAFN) as part of the programme. The purpose of the visit was to observe IWMI’s interventions for action research that helped the DG get a better sense of the ground-level research activities.


A survey of farmers was carried out in Gujarat to evaluate the impact of the Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY)
A comprehensive survey of farmers was carried out in Gujarat to evaluate the impact of the Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) on the agriculture sector. The survey commenced in February 2023 and concluded in July 2023. During this period, the survey team conducted surveys across three distinct categories of farmers: a) SKY-enrolled farmers, b) SKY-non-enrolled farmers, and c) non-SKY feeder farmers. The primary objective of this data collection endeavour was to assess the influence of SKY on the profitability of crops for these diverse groups of farmers.


Solar Country Project Lead visits NUST Energy Centre Team in Islamabad 
A meeting with the department Chair Dr. Adeel Waqas for the Centre of Advanced Studies in Energy, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was held in Islamabad on May 23, 2023. NUST Energy Centre has been engaged by the Swiss Development Cooperation and Agency (SDC) for the review of the Pak component of the SoLAR-SDC project. The agenda for the meeting was to brief the Department Chair about the project activities and discuss areas of mutual interest. The NUST team included Dr. Kashif Imran, Associate Professor in Electrical Power Engineering, USPCASE NUST. Dr.  Waqas gave a tour of the renewable energy labs and other facilities in their department. He promised full support for any future collaboration or use of facilities for training and capacity-building activities.


Training Farmers on Integrated Crop and Water Management
A farmers’ training was organised on June 13, 2023, in Kabilnagar Nasrul Ulum Fazil Madrasa, Upazila – Alamdanga, Chuadanga, district in Bangladesh. A total of 30 farmers benefitted from this training. The primary aim of the training was to enhance the capacity of SIP users in crop and water management to help boost their agricultural production This would help improve food security, augment farmers’ income, and raise livelihood for small landholders. The main objectives of the training are given below: a) to educate farmers about solar pumps and operational process; b) to spread knowledge about water-saving techniques and crop schedule; c) to spread advanced agricultural knowledge for boosting productivity; d) develop a platform for farmers to share their problems related to cultivation and mitigate the stated issues through sponsors e) to develop interlinkages between farmers and local government agricultural officials.


Bilingual Training Manual to Capacitate Solar Irrigation Pump Technicians

Photo: (left to right) – Dr. Laxman Prasad Ghimire (AEPC), Shisher Shrestha (IWMI), Nawa Raj Dhakal (AEPC), Dr. Manohara Khadka (IWMI), Dr. Marlene Buchy (IWMI)

On 18 May 2023, Dr. Manohara Khadka, Country Representative, Nepal, Dr. Marlene Buchy, Senior Researcher, IWMI Nepal and Shisher Shrestha, Country Lead, SoLAR-SA, IWMI Nepal paid a courtesy visit to the newly appointed Executive Director (ED) of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Mr. Nawaraj Dhakal. IWMI officials handed over the Bilingual Training Manual for the Solar Irrigation Pump (SIP) technicians developed under the SoLAR-SDC Project. This manual has been listed on the AEPC website as a knowledge product. Read manual>>

IWMI team visits the Gazi Grid Integration Pilot Site in Dinajpur
Dr. Marie-Charlotte Buisson and Archisman Mitra visited the Grid integration pilot site done by Gazi in Dinajpur, Bangladesh from June 17th to 27th June. Also, Archisman Mitra visited the grid integration site of WAVE in the Kushtia region and interacted with BREL officials who will be starting a new grid pilot site. The objective of the meeting was to understand the status and experience of the grid integration pilots under the project. It was found that the sponsors are earning substantially from selling energy to the grid and were planning to apply for new grid integration at other sites.


All updates>>

Punjab Province, Pakistan
Tarai district, Nepal
Gujarat, India
SoLAR-India researchers supervise the roll-out of farmers’ training sessions on the Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) in Gujarat’s Porbandar district
IWMI meets ADB and BMDA
Donor visits to the SoLAR project sites in Nepal
SoLAR Pakistan, in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Bell from the Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, pre-tested choice experiment questionnaires with farmers in Rahim Yar Khan
Photos from Pretesting Choice Experiment RYK-SoLAR Pakistan.
Troubleshooting in-situ instrumentation
Photos from in-situ instrumentation


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