Transforming Agricultural Output in Water Scare Regions

Published Oct. 16, 2017

By Liesl Frankson for Infrastructure 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.

SunCulture recently introduced its new solar water pump system which it hopes will transform agricultural output in water scarce regions.

The RainMaker solar water pump system is a high-efficiency positive displacement pump that can lift 7 000 litres of water per day and pump from wells up to 100 meters deep.

The pump uses energy from a portable 120-watt solar panel and battery bank, allowing it to pump enough water to irrigate a one-acre farm, support livestock and fulfill household water needs like drinking, cooking and cleaning.

“Most smallholder farmers in Africa are only one bad harvesting season away from financial ruin.” - Samir Ibrahim, CEO and co-founder of SunCulture.

“Solar-powered irrigation offers farmers an affordable alternative to the high cost of diesel and electric irrigation technology, enabling farmers to substantially reduce energy costs and boost agricultural output.”

Low maintenance and highly efficient

According to the company the rainmaker is both low-maintenance and highly efficient, enabling farmers to grow high value fruits and vegetables while dramatically boosting profitability.

SunCulture’s cutting-edge Climate Smart pump controller automatically optimises pump performance and battery charging based on cloud cover―extending pumping by up to 6 hours on cloudy days.

The controller includes long range, low power LoRa connectivity and is compatible with wireless soil and weather sensors that enable farmers to irrigate automatically based on soil moisture and climate conditions.

“This transformative internet connected system is designed to help smallholder farmers in underserved communities improve agricultural productivity and profitability. The RainMaker provides a long- lasting, low cost solution in low rainfall,” the company concludes.

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Nov. 26, 2018

Farmers using the RainMaker solar-powered water pump can irrigate, support livestock, and even cook and clean. They also cut 17 hours of hauling water out of their workweek. Says one farmer: “I have water all the time. Even during the dry season I can plant crops as I wait for the rains to come.”

Aug. 14, 2018

Futurepump and SunCulture are part of an exciting group of companies making farming more connected and tech-centered in rural Kenya. Innovation, coupled with reliable IT infrastructure, has broadened the reach of new technologies into the countryside, solving everyday problems for rural families.

Jul. 30, 2018

Great news for SunCulture is also great news for smallholder farmers in Africa! SunCulture CEO Samir Ibrahim is looking forward to a productive partnership with the EDF Group, and to working together to increase rural household productivity across the African continent.