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Dhaka Wednesday,  Oct 4, 2023

Hasina Orders Steps For Solar-Powered Irrigation Pumps

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed officials to take steps to power all irrigation pumps in the country with solar energy.

In a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council on Tuesday, Hasina asked Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque to take steps to construct solar panels at safe heights above vegetable and fisheries farms.

The matter came up when the committee was discussing a proposed project on agricultural irrigation through solar-powered pumps.

Planning Minister MA Mannan later said: “Our goal is to operate all irrigation machines using solar power. We might not be able to do it tomorrow or the day after, but the time will soon come.”

Mannan said the prime minister mentioned that Bangladesh requires 8.1 million litres of fuel only to operate irrigation pumps a year. Such a huge amount of oil would not be a requisite import once these pumps can run on solar power.

Mentioning that bigger spaces are required for solar panels, the prime minister said people should try to farm vegetables and fisheries under the panels by raising the poles’ heights.

She put Razzaque and the Department of Agricultural Extension in charge of the matter, he said, adding that the government would provide all sorts of support, including wavering duties and other taxes, for any private initiative to set up solar panels.

In the meeting, Hasina also instructed authorities to minimise land acquisition for government offices.

“While approving a project for NBR’s BCS Tax Academy, the prime minister told us to reduce land usage. She continuously spoke about reducing land acquisition to cut costs,” Mannan said.

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