ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Promoting Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop

Anand, the Gujarat town that gave India its dairy cooperative movement, has now spawned in Dhundi village the world’s first solar cooperative that produces Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop. When compared to other models promoting solar irrigation in the country, the SPaRC model, which has successfully completed one year in Dhundi, offers multiple benefits across-the-board: it will control groundwater overexploitation, reduce the subsidy burden on DISCOMs, curtail carbon footprint of agriculture, and help double farmer incomes

Vasudhara Adivasi Dairy Cooperative

India's White Revolution has made the country the largest milk producer in the world, but this has bypassed the Adivasi heartland of the central Indian plateau. The Vasudhara cooperative, which has organised 1,20,000 mostly Adivasi women from Valsad, Navsari, Dang and Dhule districts into a Rs 1,000-crore dairy business, provides a model for India's second White Revolution designed to empower Adivasi women.

Karnataka's Smart, New Solar Pump Policy for Irrigation

The runaway growth in states of subsidised solar pumps, which provide quality energy at near-zero marginal cost, can pose a bigger threat of groundwater over-exploitation than free power has done so far. The best way to meet this threat is by paying farmers to "grow" solar power as a remunerative cash crop. Doing so can reduce pressure on aquifers, cut the subsidy burden on electricity companies, reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture and improve farm incomes. Karnataka's new Surya Raitha policy has ken a small step in this direction.

Co-Management of Electricity and Groundwater: An Assessment of Gujarat's Jyotirgram Scheme

In September 2003, the government of Gujarat introduced the Jyotirgram Yojana to improve rural power supply. Two major changes have since taken place: (a) villages get 24 hour three-phase power supply for domestic use, in schools, hospitals, village industries, all subject to metered tariff; and (b) tubewell owners get eight hours/day of power but of full voltage and on a pre-announced schedule. It has, however, offered a mixed bag to medium and large farmers and hit marginal farmers and the landless. This article offers an assessment of the impact of Jyotirgram, and argues that with some refinements it presents a model that other states can follow with profit.

Improved Water Control as Strategy for Enhancing Tribal Livelihoods

Synthesising the lessons of a two year collaborative research programme by researchers and NGOs, this paper suggests that improved water control strategies, designed after taking contextual factors of resource conditions and socio-ecology into consideration, have a high potential for redressing the livelihood problems of India's most neglected people besides also leading to sustained and salutary impacts on wider human development indicators for this region. While other development interventions are also important and necessary, public investments in assuring improved irrigation water control can act to kick-start the tribal economy in the region.
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