While demand side response is recognized as a useful tool in reducing the costs of integration of variable renewables, literature on demand side measures in the developing countries has been limited due to lack of publicly available data on system level end use load profiles. This article fills the gap by evaluating agricultural pumping demand as demand side resource in India. Enabled by the system of segregated power supply for irrigation, pumping load has long been used to flatten the load curve but its value to the system resource has largely been ignored. We collected data on hourly supply to 123 agriculture groups in two distribution utilities in the Indian state of Gujarat for one year and used the derived agriculture supply curves in a production cost optimization power model. We estimate that agriculture demand responds reduces the cost of grid operations by up to 6% in the current system. By suitably modifying the agriculture pumping load the cost of integrating up to 50% of renewable energy is reduced and curtailment is reduced by 3-6%. Decentralized agricultural pumps can reduce the cost of integrating and curtailment by enabling absorption of peak solar energy. We conclude that in power systems with moderate to high shares of agricultural demand, agricultural demand response can provide a cost-effective way of integrating high shares of renewable electricity. Further, even though decentralized systems may require higher feed-in-tariffs, replacing agricultural pumps dependent on centralised supply with decentralized agricultural pumps is more effective in integrating solar electricity as compared to centralized solar power plants besides having benefits for ground water conservation.