Prashanth Vishwanathan/IWMI.

India's sunshine farmer

Ramanbhai Parmar, a smallholder farmer in India’s Gujarat state, has started harvesting what could become the country’s most climate-smart cash crop yet – sunshine. He has become the first farmer to sell energy back to the power grid from the solar panels that drive his water pump.

India's sunshine farmer
Prashanth Vishwanathan.

As part of WLE’s SPaRC (Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop) initiative, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) offers farmers a guaranteed buy-back of surplus solar power they produce, provided they are connected to the electricity grid. SPaRC monitors on-farm electricity generation, income, water efficiency and crop production as part of the pilot study. It is managed by the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program and supported by Tata Trusts. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security has pledged additional support for scaling up the pilot.

Read more about Ramanbhai Parmar’s “solar crop” and the SPaRC initiative in IWMI’s story, Payday for India’s first ever “sunshine farmer,” and read the official press release.

India's sunshine farmer
Neil Palmer.

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