Sustainable Irrigation: The Pump of the Future Helping Farmers in Kenya

Published Dec. 2, 2016

By  for Inspir'action News

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.

Rainfall has become more irregular in Kenya due to climate change. Moreover, currently used diesel-powered irrigation pumps are highly polluting and carbon intensive. A solar irrigation pump known as Futurepump has made work easier for small-scale farmers.

Water is a scarce resource in most parts of Africa where only around 5% of cultivated land is irrigated, compared to 41% in Asia. It is a known fact that irrigation is an important component in improving agricultural production. There are different types of irrigation techniques and they are differing in how the water obtained from the source is distributed within the field.

Generally, the objective is to provide the whole field homogeneously with water, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little.

In Kenya, apart from the unavailability of water, available diesel engine irrigation pumps are another threat to the environment with significant release of CO2 in the atmosphere. With pollution, water scarcity and also lack of financing, farmers are, therefore, on the lookout for sustainable irrigation solutions.

Alt text

In an effort to help the Kenyan farmers, and based on Kenya’s solar potential Futurepump has invested in a solar-powered irrigation pump to allow them adopt sustainable irrigation solutions. Furthermore, they have been granted financing with flexibility for refunding the loans. The latest US$ 637 pump required a US$414 down payment, with $25 a month repayments until it is paid off.

This solar-powered irrigation pump, combined with low-pressure drip systems, is an eye-catching technology that can significantly improve harvests, efficiency and farmers' profits but at the same time avoid considerable amounts of GHG emissions. It is expected that the growth of a market for a renewable alternative could avoid the emissions of almost 3 million tonnes CO2 yearly by 2030.

Related News & Events: 
Jan. 31, 2018

Futurepump is one of a number of enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa that are developing ideas for low-cost, high-quality clean energy products and services. Business-oriented funding for clean energy projects like Futurepump is helping more young people in off-grid villages earn an income.

Jan. 18, 2018

With the help of her Futurepump solar irrigation system, Kenyan farmer Hakima Mohammed has become a successful business owner. Since 2013, she has sold over 1.5 million seedling trees, mainly to local small-scale farmers, who are planting them as a way to boost their incomes.

Jan. 6, 2018

Thanks to her Sunflower pump, Santa Kumari Mukhiya's honey business is flourishing. Stories like hers are the result of a broad effort to help Nepal graduate from Least Developed Country to Developing Nation by 2022. Access to electricity is a challenge, and Futurepump is part of the solution.

Dec. 6, 2017

Hatoum Trading Company has begun to promote and sell the Futurepump Sunflower pump in northern Ghana. The product launch was on Dec. 5, and the event included product demonstrations and a speech by the Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Issahaku Alhassan.