“Irrigation generates one to two jobs per hectare,” said Mr. Sompal Singh Shastri, former Minister of State for Agriculture and member of the Planning Commission of the Government of India. He was speaking at a recent policy dialogue organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on the Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme. KUSUM is a multi-billion dollar initiative by the Indian government, announced during the budget session earlier this year, to promote solar farming in India. Under the scheme, the government will provide 2.75 million solar pumps to farmers. During the first phase, 1.75 million solar pumps will be installed in places without grids and 1 million in places with grid availability. The scheme also envisages 50,000 grid-connected tube-wells/lift irrigation and drinking water projects.