Solar water pumps transforming Herat farming
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): The use of solar water pumps has significantly decreased farmland irrigation costs in western Herat province.
The installation of solar-powered water pumps has recently increased in Afghanistan, particularly in Herat, where agriculture experts believe the solar irrigation system would help agricultural development undergo a great transformation.
Currently most farmers use diesel-powered water pumps to irrigate their fields, which are highly expensive.
Abdul Rahman, a farmer in Engjil district of Herat, told Pajhwok Afghan News that solar energy was a new technology and the one-time investment works for a long period.
He said diesel-powered water pumps required 20 to 30 liters of diesel a day for irrigation of farmlands, a cost one could get rid of by installing a solar powered water pump.
Shah Rassoul, another farmer in Guzra district, said: “We use solar water pumbs for irrigating our farms. In the past, we would use diesel-run generators for lifting water out of the ground that cost us a lot.”
Ghulam Seddiq Rahmani, who owns 20 acres of farmland in Enjil district, said he had also activated solar irrigation system for watering his farms. He said the power generated by solar could also be used for home lighting.
Mohammad Ismail, the manager of Khushbakht Company, told Pajhwok solar irrigation systems could lift water from 10 to 300 meters depth.
Farmers in the past would use money they earned for repairing water pumps and purchasing diesel, but the solar irrigation system has resolved that problem, he said.
Ismail added farmers annually spent 200,000 to 300,000 afghanis irrigating their farmlands, a cost that could be saved with the activation of a solar system.