Agriculture Current Affairs
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has developed portable solar-powered cold storage device with 500 kg capacity for storing vegetables and fruits, among other items. The device will help farmers store their produce for sufficient time so that it does not get spoilt before it is sold, thereby preventing wastage of agricultural produce. The first unit of device was deployed at farm in Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu.
Solar-powered cold storage device
It has been developed under project funded by Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology) and IIT-M. It provides storage facility with temperature ranging between four and 10 degree Celsius. Using it, vegetables, leaves, flowers and fruits can be stored for 24 hours in the device. Each device is enough for 5 or 6 acres of land or for group of three to four farmers. The unit uses thermal energy storage. The photovoltaic-powered refrigeration system is used to charge indoor thermal battery in form of latent heat during day time and used to maintain temperature (10 C) for 20-24 hours. Each unit costs between Rs 5.5 to Rs 6 lakh and storage capacity could be scaled down based on requirement.
Odisha Government has launched Saura Jalnidhi scheme to encourage use of solar energy in irrigation by farmers. Under this scheme, farmers will be given 90% subsidy and 5,000 solar pumps. This will provide irrigation benefits in 2,500 acres of the state. The beneficiary of this scheme will be farmers who have valid farmer identity cards and have minimum 0.5 acres of agricultural land.
Saura Jalnidhi scheme
The scheme was launched as part of state government’s endeavor to increase the use of solar photovoltaic pump sets in those areas so that irrigation facilities can be provided where power system is bad. For this scheme, state government has made a provision of Rs 27.18 crore in the financial year 2017-18.
In the first phase, this scheme will be available in those areas where electricity is not available for running the pump set. This scheme will generate 1.52 lakh human day employments annually and provided livelihood to around 5,000 families and also reduce carbon footprints.
Under this scheme, farmers will be provided with a well-equipped solar pump irrigation system in convergence mode. It will help to reduce burden of input cost on farmers and also increase agricultural income. It will promote the use of green energy and reduce pollution.