National Forum

The IWMI-led Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) organized a series of six webinars between 1-5 February 2021. SoLAR project aims to generate knowledge to sustainably manage water-energy and climate interlinkages through the promotion of solar irrigation pumps (SIPs). The goal of the project is to contribute to climate-resilient, gender-equitable, and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan by supporting government efforts to promote solar irrigation.

More information is available here.

Solar Irrigation

Webinar 1IndiaBangladeshNepalPakistanSouth Asia

Role of solar irrigation pumps (SIPs) in clean energy transition in South Asia


Solarization of Indian Agriculture: Challenges and Prospects


Solar irrigation in Bangladesh: Current situation and future prospects


Appropriate Institutional Modalities for Grid-Connected Solar Irrigation Pumps in Nepal


The potential of Solar irrigation for Pakistan: a critical inquiry


National Forum

To gain insights on decarbonization of agriculture in the South Asian context, researchers from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the partner organizations discuss some key findings from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funded SoLAR (Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience) project across Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.



2nd SoLAR National Forum, Bangladesh

“Webinar on co-benefits, equity and financial viability for upscaling solar irrigation in Bangladesh”

As part of year 2 (2021-2022) of the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) funded SoLAR (Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience) project in Bangladesh, the second SoLAR National Forum will be organised.

Date: Thursday, 10 February 2022

Time: 11:00-13:00 BST (120 minutes)

The two-hour session will have participation from a host of dignitaries representing various government institutions in the country. Irrigation in Bangladesh is primarily dependent on imported diesel which hinders economic and environmental outcomes at the National and farmers’ level. Solar irrigation provides an opportunity to replace diesel pumps in off-grid areas with a cleaner energy alternative. To date, more than 2000 solar irrigation pumps have been set up in Bangladesh with different government and private organisations involved in popularizing this technology across the country. Most of them have ambitious targets for scaling up SIPs in the coming decade. At this critical juncture, it becomes imperative to understand the benefits as well as co-benefits from solar irrigation in Bangladesh, the equity in terms of groundwater access, it provides through different models and the financial viability envisioned. How the different models for SIP promotion in the country are currently working and what should be the way forward? This webinar will welcome experts and diverse stakeholders who will shed light on the different aspects of the solar irrigation sector in Bangladesh and aim to foster co-learning and move forward towards the upscaling of solar irrigation in the country.

This forum will include rich presentations and panel discussion on various themes.


Theme 1: Not just mitigation – co-benefits from solar irrigation
Topic and speaker:

Climate adaptation co-benefits of solar irrigation in Bangladesh – Dr Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Associate Professor, BRAC University


Theme 2: Delivering solar irrigation services to the poor
Topics and speakers:
  1. Achieving equitable SIP access in Bangladesh: lessons from the field– Dr Marie-Charlotte Buisson, Senior Researcher, IWMI
  2. Findings from SIP experience in India, Nepal and Pakistan – Dr Aditi Mukherji, Principal Researcher, IWMI


Theme 3: Asset utilization of SIPs for financial viability – case studies from BD
Topics and speakers:
  1. Presentation from IDCOL on proposed grid integration of SIPs
  2. Case study from IDCOL sponsors on integrating complementary activities/services with SIPs


Theme 4: Solarizing irrigation sector in BD: Many paths to success

(Panel discussion on alternative models of promoting solar irrigation in Bangladesh)

  1. Tanuja Bhattacharjee, Energy Specialist, World Bank
  2. Nazirul Islam, Executive Engineer, BMDA
  3. Mohammad Ayub Hossain, Principal Scientific Officer, BARI
  4. A B M Zahid Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer, BRRI


Moderator: Mr Archisman Mitra, Country Lead- Bangladesh, SoLAR Project, IWMI

Please find the attached agenda here.

This is a regional event, and our researchers will promote this event on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.


Speakers and panelists profiles



2nd SoLAR National Forum, Nepal


“Webinar on making Solar Irrigation Pumps (SIPs) programs equitable and inclusive in Nepal”

As part of year 2 (2021-22) of the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) funded SoLAR (Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience) project in Nepal, the second SoLAR National Forum was organised.

Nepal-National Forum Summary Report

Date: 4 February 2022

Time: 9:15-11:00 NST

The two-hour session had participation from a host of dignitaries representing various government institutions in the country. The national forum was organised in partnership with Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and IWMI. Initially, planned as an in-person event, it was organised virtually due to the third wave of Covid-19 arising out of the omicron variant.

The National Forum was divided into two sessions. In the first session, IWMI researchers presented their research work on impact evaluation of the SIP program through Dr Laxman Prasad Ghimire (from AEPC), where distinguished panelists shared their experiences, knowledge and thoughts on emerging opportunities and challenges for promoting women and marginal farmer-centric solar irrigation technologies for food, water security and prosperity in Nepal.

The session was moderated by Shisher Shrestha.

Please find the session agenda here.


Glimpses from the event:


3rd SoLAR National Forum, Pakistan

The 2022 summary report can be found here.

2nd SoLAR National Forum, Pakistan


The Pakistan Water Week was organised by IWMI Pakistan in Islamabad from 6-9 December 2021. As part of the SoLAR project in Pakistan, a national forum on the theme, ‘The Real Potential of Solar-based irrigation in Pakistan’ was held under the ambit of this event that received comprehensive media coverage across the country and beyond. Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi was among the eminent dignitaries to have graced this occasion of national importance.

The national forum had several presentations followed by a rich panel discussion. The summary report can be found here.

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