“This is the first time the world has seen a solar-powered drip irrigation system being used on such a large scale. And in light of recent events, it is good to know that this project will positively impact the people of Sri Lanka,” said Les Poole, Director of Large Projects for BP Solar.
The project will be implemented through an outreach program designed to supply low-cost irrigation kits to farmers to increase crop yields while conserving water and energy. Supply of the irrigation systems is the first stage of a two-phase contract potentially valued at AUD 42.5 million (US $33 million).
According to Poole, 5100 Sri Lankan families will benefit from the first phase of this project. Additionally, installation of the new irrigation systems will result in a reduction in the fossil fuel alternatives currently used, soil erosion associated with previous flood irrigation methods and the dangers associated with transporting and running kerosene fuelled pumps.