Address:
International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,
India

Telephone:
+91 80 2555 3375

Fax:
+91 80 2555 3375

E-mail:
ieiblr@vsnl.com

 

The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Integrating energy conservation practices towards sustainable agriculture: the case of small farms in India

 Our initiative in Bangalore is progressing with its field project on energy conservation practices for sustainable agriculture.  The purpose is to implement efficient resource use at small farms -- for improved crop yields that benefit the farmers, and to reduce groundwater extraction, and the need for electricity and chemical fertilizers, that benefit the environment and the state.  Improved irrigation and manuring practices are being implemented at 50 farms located in rural Bengalooru (now called Ramanagara) and Tumakooru districts of Karnataka state.  These farms are currently cultivating fruit, vegetables and subsistence grain.

The project is now in its second (efficient system implementation) stage.  During this period, energy-efficient water extraction and conservative water application equipment are being installed, and composting (for natural manure) is being initiated.
 

The improvements that have already been implemented are [Click here for photographs]:

        improved access to irrigation water for the entire sample of farms, through -
o       replacement of the existing locally-assembled submersible water pumps with certified energy-efficient pumps (thereby using less energy per unit of water delivered) at the farms already possessing wells and pump-sets, and
o       efficient provision of irrigation for farms that were restricted to rain-fed cultivation (through shared access of adjacent small farms to a deep-well and efficient pump).
 

The improvements under way are:

        installation of the appropriate efficient water-application, i.e. drip (for fruit trees), or sprinkler (for small vegetable plants and grain) systems, to provide smaller amounts of water targeted at the points of requirement (and thereby conserve water and the energy for delivering it);

        composting of cattle manure and vegetative litter in locations near the crop-fields, to generate natural manure.

 

The The first (resource-use assessment) stage of the project, completed before the onset of the rainy season, was devoted to measurement of baseline resource-use.  During the third (monitoring and evaluation) stage after the rains, when irrigation will be resumed, comparisons could be made between the use of resources, before and after improvements were effected.

The main financial support for the project is being provided by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, (Germany) through their 5th round of Sustainable Energy Project Support (http://wisions.net/pages/SEPS_Projects.php)