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.
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.