Solar pump owner: Bachani Devi Thakur
District: Rautahat
Municipality: Gadhimai
Command area 2.7 hectares
Current crops Cereal
Future plans Expansion of current crops
“It’s easy, anyone can operate the system.” - Bachani Thakur

Bachani Devi Thakur currently owns and operates her own solar powered irrigation system. The farmland is also in her name. There is a scheme to provide an additional 10% subsidy on the pump if the pump and the land are both under a woman’s name. Now that she has a solar pump, Bachani can independently irrigate her farmland. Her husband is a doctor and has very little time for the farm or household, so Bachani manages the farm herself. She has two sons; one of them is in Australia and the other stays home to help her on the farm. The family farm has been passed down through generations. Bachani wants to continue their traditional occupation and make her ancestors proud. The farm will one day get passed down to her son. 

Life has become considerably easier for Bachani since the installation of the solar irrigation system. Before, she relied on a diesel pump to irrigate their cereal crops. The biggest problem with the diesel pump was that Bachani couldn’t operate it by herself, and if her son was away she would have to get help from neighbours or wait for her son to return. This was extremely inconvenient. The diesel pump was far too labour intensive for Bachani to maintain alone. She managed for a while but was desperate for a better alternative. Her neighbour then introduced her to solar irrigation. She found the system incredibly easy to operate and that she could benefit from it. After trying the system herself, Bachani was overjoyed. Finally she had found a system that was easy to operate and dependable. With the flick of a switch, she could access a reliable source of water for irrigation. She contacted the field office and worked with the field staff to install her own solar irrigation system. Now Bachani is completely independent when it comes to providing irrigation to her land. The system has not only improved her access to water, it is also allowing her to diversify her practices.

Bachani has been cultivating cereal crops for her entire farming career. She wants to continue this and diversify her practices. Now that she has a reliable source of water, she is excited to start cultivating double-season paddy. This will increase her production, and she can sell the surplus in the market to bring in more income for her family. Bachani has even hired labour to work on her farm since productivity has increased. She works the farm herself for the most part, but during harvest she needs a few extra hands. 

Bachani is not only a successful female farmer, but also an independent female farmer. Many people visit her and her farm to see the positive effects of solar irrigation on her agricultural production. She is very confident of her ability to maintain the farm as she has found a solution to the problems related to irrigation. She works hard on the farm and in the household to provide for her family. She is an inspiration to many women in her community and neighbouring villages.