Solar pump owner: Dev Nandan Shah
District: Saptari
VDC: Siswa Beihi
Command area 0.68 hectares
Current crops Cereal crops, vegetables, & aquaculture
Future plans Expansion of current crops
“My family’s small cereal crop farm now produces vegetables, and has aquaculture. There are no limitations.”  - Dev Nandan Shah

The Shah family has been farming for a long time, following practices that have been passed down through generations. Dev Shah has continued his family’s traditions, but has also improved upon them. Last year the Shah family installed a solar powered irrigation system to irrigate their farmlands. The solar pump is not only providing water to the farm, it is also providing opportunities for growth.

The family had long been using a diesel pump and an electric pump to irrigate their crop fields. Both these systems were expensive and unreliable. Meanwhile Dev could see some of his neighbours successfully engaged in aquaculture and vegetable farming. He knew both these activities could bring a higher income than crop farming, but they required reliable access to water. If he wanted to expand into vegetable and fish farming, he would need to find a way to fulfill his water requirements. He then had met with a social mobilizer, who introduced him to a new technology that extracted groundwater using solar energy, without diesel or electricity. This sparked his interest, and he contacted Sabal Nepal, an NGO that had invited him to a promotion and demonstration event for the new solar powered irrigation pump. He attended the event and was highly impressed with the new system. He later applied to get his own system installed. The new system has been installed for more than a year now, and the Shah family can attest to its effectiveness. 

Now that they have a reliable source of water, they have been able to expand into vegetable and aqua farming. After the installation of the solar powered irrigation system, Dev was invited to a vegetable and aquaculture training provided by ICIMOD. He attended the training and learned about new techniques and practices that would enable him to make the most of the new irrigation system. He also received vegetable seeds at the training event. He is now using those seeds and putting the knowledge he gained at the training into practice. The family is now growing cereal crops and vegetables, and is involved in aquaculture.

Now that Dev has reliable access to water and has adopted new agricultural practices, he has even bigger plans for the future. Dev has just started to cultivate vegetables this year and is hopeful that he will get good harvests. If his prediction comes true, he is going to expand his land next year in order to cultivate vegetables on a commercial scale. He is also considering expanding his land for aquaculture, as this is currently a much more profitable enterprise. Having enjoyed success after the adoption of new technology and practices, he is also keen to get involved in livestock farming. He is confident that his present and future endeavours will bring great results. 

The family farm that only produced cereal crops until sometime ago now boasts multiple forms of agriculture. Dev Shah has blended the traditions inherited from his ancestors with modern technology. His four sons help him on the farm and will continue the practice in the future. Dev hopes that they, too, will expand and enrich the farm by using modern approaches and exploring new opportunities.