TIRUCHY: Solar-powered bore wells exclusively for irrigation of sugarcane has taken off in the district. Farmers are hoping for a good yield with uninterrupted power supply as 7,692 acres have been brought under sugarcane cultivation this year.
A sum of `90.50 lakh has been allocated by State government to the district to establish 17 bore wells and 10 open wells. Sugarcane cultivation is undertaken from June to September and the crop is being cultivated on 4,385 acre in the delta areas and on 3,307 acre in non-delta areas.
In order to provide uninterrupted power supply, the State government has resorted to new-age technology in implementing solar powered irrigation. As per the programme, Tiruchy district would have 17 bore wells and 10 open wells. So far, 14 bore wells and seven open wells with solar power have been established.
The cost of setting up a solar powered borewell has been estimated at `4.19 lakh, of which the government’s subsidy component is worth `3.35 lakh. For solar powered open wells, it is `5 lakh with a government subsidy of `3.84 lakh.
According to officials from the agriculture department, since the farmers are opting for one-time cultivation, the manure usage could be reduced. At the same time, if protected nursery crops are planted, the yield could be obtained up to 60 tonnes per acre compared to 35-40 tonnes in the usual method.
According to Raja, a beneficiary from Sevanthiapatti, 20 solar panels power a 5 hp motor in his bore well. “This helps me water the crops from 9 am to 5 pm without any hitch.”
He added that the panels can produce at least 1,000 units of power in a month which saves him huge sum. The other beneficiaries said that this system enables them to cultivate sugarcane on an area of up to 2.5 acre against one acre in the usual procedure. They are expecting a yield of up to 70 tonnes an acre.
Collector Jayashree Muralidharan visited the solar powered sugarcane cultivation areas at Alunthur and Sevanthianipatti in Manikandam union on Sunday.