May 9, 2016, Anand – Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt Anandiben Patel awarded a certificate of appreciation to the Dhundi Saur Urja Utpadak Sahakari Mandali (DSUUSM) at the launch of the 2016 edition of Krushi Mahotsav or Agriculture Festival in Anand, Gujarat today.
The Mandali which holds the distinction of being the world’s first solar Irrigation cooperative is being felicitated for providing to its members risk-free climate smart income from energy sales to the local DISCOM. The idea of Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) was developed by the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Research Program (ITP), a partnership between the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the Tata Trusts with support from the CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). IWMI had successfully piloted a single farmer SPaRC (Solar Power as Remunerative Crop) model in Anand district last year in which the farmer’s solar irrigation pump was connected to the electricity grid presenting him with the choice to sell the surplus power generated when the fields are not being irrigated. The idea has now been further refined and institutionalized with the formation of Dhundi Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise.