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  • Tuesday, June, 2024| Today's Market | Current Time: 10:41:52
  • New Delhi : Small-hold farms produce one-third of our global food, yet they are among the first to be impacted by climate change and depleting water tables. On the eve of World Environment Day, India and Sweden came together to unveil an unique  Smart Farm for promoting sustainable food production system. Smart Farming practices and technology enables small-hold farmers to grow more food with significantly less water, and use the sun as the only power source. Importantly, the Smart Farming concept aims to address the pressing challenges of overuse of water for irrigation and reduce dependencies on fossil fuels for food production.

    The Smart Farm was launched under the umbrella of bi-lateral Energy and Environment MoUs MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed by India and Sweden.

    Addressing the gathering, Mr Markus Lundgren, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Sweden and Head of Section for Trade, Economic, and Cultural Affairs, said, “In the past few years, water scarcity in both Sweden and India has taken centre stage. As the global temperature soars, it is further expected to intensify. Leveraging modern technologies is the only way to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.”

    The Smart Farm facility is located at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) premises and utilises Spowdi’s innovative technology that is mobile and robust enough to work in tough conditions, high temperatures and muddy water. Spowdi is a Swedish green-tech engineering company, which entered the Indian market in 2019 and has set up an Indian entity.

    Speaking at the Occasion, Ms Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade and Invest Commissioner of Sweden and Head, Business Sweden in South Asia highlighted that this (2023) is a Jubilee Year for India and Sweden as we celebrate 75 years of bilateral relations. Sweden is committed towards working with India to jointly address climate issues. Spowdi’s Smart Farm at NISE campus is an excellent example of how different actors from both countries are coming together to co-create next-gen sustainable solutions which has the potential to not only conserve precious water resources but also uplift people at the bottom of pyramid level.

    At the Smart Farm launch, Spowdi demonstrated its solar-powered, precision irrigation solution, the Spowdi Mobile Pro MKII. This 0.1 hp system has been tested for 25 LPM at 5 meter total dynamic head, at NISE a specialised and autonomous institute operating under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (GoI).

    NISE is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the technology, assessing its performance and its capability to drip-irrigate a 400 sq. metre land area with precise water volumes and optimal pressure. The system is powered by a mobile and compact 150-watt solar panel, highlighting the system’s efficient use of renewable energy.

    In his keynote address, Shri Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, asserted that “Sustainable farming is the future of agriculture, and now is the time to act in this direction. By adopting ultra-modern technologies and eco-friendly practices, we can revolutionise the agricultural landscape.”

    The Solar based Micro-irrigation Farm will serve as a demo farm and a valuable learning resource for institutions, agricultural universities, and farmer communities interested in learning about innovative technologies for small-hold farming. Tomatoes, Cucumber, chili’s and flowers grown at the demo farm and the harvest will be utilised in the NISE canteen.

    Dr Jai Prakash Singh, Deputy Director General of NISE (MNRE), Government of India, said, “Climate change poses a threat to agriculture and Solar Energy is an important solution for sustainable agriculture. The solar based micro-irrigation Farm, introduced in collaboration with NISE, showcases a futuristic micro-irrigation system that can help deal with the challenges of watering farmland in a more efficient way.”

    The solar-powered Spowdi technology combined with drip irrigation, distributes water directly to the plant drop by drop, helping farmers save up to 80% of water. It is a testament to the potential for small-scale farmers to enhance and diversify their yields on existing cultivated lands while significantly reducing water usage. Besides, the technology enables small-hold farmers to secure a more profitable food production system and build a greener tomorrow. 

    Henrik Johansson, CEO of Spowdi says, “On the global arena today, water, sustainable farming, livelihoods for women and innovation, are on top of the agenda. We view small-hold farmers as businesswomen and businessmen who should have the opportunity to adopt innovative technologies and it this can be achieved by creating a Smart Farming ecosystem. Smart Farming methods and innovative technology can empower small-hold farmers in India, many of whom are women, to have an increased harvest, higher profitability and better livelihoods.”

    At the launch, small-hold farmers from SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) also shared their first hand experience of the Smart Farming concept and how they were able to see the increase in their harvest as compared to flood irrigation methods.

    To scale Smart Farming to tens of thousands of small-hold farmers, Spowdi in association with SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) are now inviting more partners, including industry, to be a part of the Smart Farming ecosystem. The initiative is known as the Water Drop Initiative.

    The event saw the presence of distinguished guests, including; Mr. Anders Andersson, Vice President- Head of Special Operations at Spowdi; Ms. Rupali Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer at Spowdi; Dr. Chandan Banerjee, Deputy Director General, NISE; Dr. Jai Prakash, Deputy Director General, NISE; Dr. Avadhesh Yadav, Deputy Director General, NISE; Dr. Prashant Misra, Director, NISE; Ms Richa Parmar, Deputy Director, NISE and smart farmers from Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).


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