Solar pump owner: Jiten Yadav
District: Saptari
VDC: Hardiya
Command area 1.49 hectares
Current crops Commercial vegetable production
Future plans Expand vegetable production
“Our farm is performing so well because we work together and we have a system that can keep up with our production.” - Jiten Yadav

Jiten Yadav is truly an inspiring individual. He and his wife were the first people in their village to adopt solar irrigation. They installed a solar pump three years ago, and this new irrigation technology has been life changing for the Yadav family. Jiten is the only son in the family. After his father passed away ten years ago, Jiten had to shoulder the responsibility of providing for his family and managing the family farm. At 20, he became the head of the household. Jiten never faltered in the new role. He has worked extremely hard to provide for his family and continue farming like generations of his ancestors did. Three years ago, ICIMOD was looking for a vegetable farmer who would be able and willing to try a new solar powered irrigation technology. ICIMOD team members heard the story about Jiten and his determination. Inspired by the hard work and dedication of the Yadav family, ICIMOD offered them the solar irrigation system as a test product. Jiten accepted ICIMOD’s proposal as he was looking for an alternative to his diesel pump. Solar irrigation has enabled Jiten to provide for his family and enhance his vegetable production in more ways than one.

The Yadav family lives in a village that has no access to electricity, making diesel pumps the most common technology for irrigation. Jiten had also once relied on a 5 HP diesel pump, but the system was cumbersome and he was eager to find a better solution. Diesel was expensive, and Jiten had to travel to get fuel. On top of the expense and travel, the system was hard to use. Jiten, his wife and his mother all work on the farm. However, the two women could not operate the diesel system. Solar irrigation, on the other hand, has no fuel costs, and it is incredibly easy for anyone to operate. All it takes is the flip of a switch. Solar irrigation not only helped Jiten save money on fuel and travel, but also enabled the two women in the household to get more involved in agriculture. The new technology has thus contributed to the success of the Yadav farm.

Since the installation of the solar irrigation system, Jiten has been able to cultivate more diverse vegetables and sell them in the market. Jiten works on the farm and travels to the market to sell his produce. He has connections with many businesspeople who know the value and quality of his products. The fact that Jiten’s wife can operate the irrigation system in his absence makes a huge difference. Since the installation of the solar pump, Jiten has expanded his farmland by 0.33 hectares (10 katthas). He also attended the vegetable and aquaculture training provided by ICIMOD. He still has plans to expand his land to accommodate more vegetable farming. This will further increase his income. Jiten has sold his diesel pump, and is able to meet all of his water requirements with his solar irrigation system. 

Along with the 0.33 hectares of land he expanded, he has also been able to purchase a motorcycle. He is building a new house for his family. He is saving upwards of NPR 20,000 each month after switching from a diesel pump to a solar pump. He has been able to invest this money back into his farm and in improving the quality of life for his loved ones. 

Jiten had no formal agricultural training when he inherited the farm. He and his family has worked incredibly hard in order to sustain the farm and provide for themselves. Solar irrigation has made this transition easier and helped the Yadav family succeed in some challenging situations. ICIMOD first learned about Jiten through other people in his community. He was an inspiration even before he had success with solar irrigation. He had been a leader in the area from a young age and is still actively involved in various activities in the village. Solar irrigation played the role of a helping hand in the success of the Yadav family. Now the family runs one of the largest commercial vegetable farms in the area.