Kickstart International's Jenna Rogers-Rafferty Featured on Plurrify Podcast

Published: Dec. 6, 2016

By Plurrify

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

The Plurrify Podcast: KickStart International's Jenna Rogers-Rafferty

Jenna is KickStart International's Senior Partnership Officer. She has spent much of her career accelerating community-based organ-isations during their startup phase, helping to launch the Ford Family Program under the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame and serving as director of groups in Uganda and Liberia. These roles entailed working closely with founding teams and local communities to identify needs and advantages, designing and executing programs, fundraising and communications strategies. Jenna is passionate about replacing traditional charity, with models that empower individuals to be the agents of their own change.

KickStart International is an award-winning, nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to lift millions of people out of poverty. They do this through their “MoneyMaker” human-powered irrigation pumps. These low-cost ($70 and $150) pumps are bought by small-scale farmers who use them to access wells or nearby water sources to irrigate their plots and grow crops year-round. As a result, farmers transform their farms into profitable businesses and this new income empowers families to properly feed and educate their children, afford healthcare and plan for their futures. MoneyMaker pumps are sold in local retail shops in 16 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. To date, more than 215,000 farming families have used MoneyMaker pumps and KickStart estimate that the pumps have lifted over 1,000,000 people out of poverty.

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When farmers in Uganda all plant during the rainy season, it leads to a surplus, which forces prices down. Experts like Kickstart International's John Kinaga are encouraging farmers to irrigate instead, which provides better food security, protects farmers from climate risks and reduces poverty.

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African women are typically in charge of smaller, garden vegetable plots. By providing them access to irrigation tools, Kickstart enables them to contribute more income to their households. As they increase their earnings, they also increase their stature within their families and communities.