Beyond Diesel: Navigating an Equitable and Sustainable Irrigation Landscape in Bangladesh


A National stakeholder workshop on Beyond Diesel: Navigating an Equitable and Sustainable Irrigation Landscape in Bangladesh was organized at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), NGO Forum, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) and Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Transforming Agrifood Systems in South Asia (TAFSSA) Initiative under the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) SoLAR project in Dhaka on 6th March 2024. There were 67 participants.

Following up on the honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh’s announcement to convert all diesel irrigation pumps to solar power, this workshop outlined the need for an equitable transition to solar-powered irrigation pumps (SIPs). The event brought together key stakeholders such as Power Cell, IDCOL, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), NGO Forum, Khetworks, Futurepump to deliberate on empowering the marginalized through micro-SIP models. The meeting had a mini policy hackathon exploring reducing diesel dependency in Bangladesh’s irrigation system, which was designed as a group activity. Participants were divided into groups to discuss groundwater sustainability while transitioning from diesel to affordable irrigation and ensuring equitable and inclusive access to non-diesel irrigation.

It emerged from the discussions that the judicious integration of both on-grid and off-grid SIP applications was needed, with a pronounced emphasis on grid connectivity to ensure requisite backup infrastructure through policies such as net metering to enhance adoption. Another key takeaway was that making groups is a good way to relatively pave the way for more inclusion of women and small marginal farmers. One of the key discussion points was that the demand for energy in South Asia is aided by solar energy and Bangladesh is included in this solar uptake.

Conference Report
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Event Photos

Zoom Recording



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