“This partnership creates an ecosystem to encourage a large-scale deployment of solar pumps. This is a unique agreement between a private not-for-profit organisation and a leading public sector bank to set up a guarantee fund, which is otherwise, usually set up by government bodies,” said Vinay Jaju of SwitchON Foundation.
The basic aim of the fund is to help unbanked small marginal farmers without any collateral. A senior PNB Official of the Kolkata Zone said: “This novel joint initiative will provide finance for purchasing solar pumps for farming that will promote clean energy under different subsidy schemes of the government.”
The foundation will be conducting farmer sensitisation, awareness drive and due diligence before finalising the disbursal of each loan. In east India, 96% of the farmers are small and marginal and “irrigation is essential to pull these farmers out of poverty, but they are overburdened with recurring diesel prices and high electricity bills,” said Surajit Chakraborty of the foundation.
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