Agriculture is the lifeblood of Kenya’s economy. To reduce poverty in the country, Kenya must improve its agricultural production, generate employment and prosperity, and feed a growing population. Irrigation is a key element of agrifood development, but current diesel-powered irrigation pumps are highly polluting and carbon intensive.
Futurepump, has developed a new model to enable smallholder farmers in Kenya to adopt sustainable irrigation solutions with a proprietary solar powered irrigation pump, combined with a finance programme that allows for flexible payments.
As in many developing countries, agriculture is the lifeblood of Kenya’s economy, directly responsible for over a quarter of GDP and a fifth of formal employment (and over 70% of informal jobs in rural areas).
A key element to improve agricultural production is irrigation. However, only 4% of irrigable land is currently under irrigation. To advance productivity and wealth generation in the agricultural sector, irrigation will need to expand to cover the full potential of irrigable land, a trend already well underway. Currently, diesel engine irrigation pumps are powering this expansion, a reality that will – if unchecked – lead to considerable growth in CO2 and particulate matter pollution. Investment in alternative technologies is lacking due to gaps in finance, understanding and know-how among primary segments.
REEEP estimates that broad expansion of a market for a renewable alternative could result in nearly 3 million tonnes CO2 of emissions avoidance per year by 2030.
Now receiving its second round of financing from REEEP, Futurepump has developed a new model to allow smallholder farmers in Kenya to adopt sustainable irrigation solutions with a proprietary solar powered irrigation pump, combined with an end-user finance programme that allows for flexible payments at a time when the farmer is gaining the economic benefits from irrigating their lands.
Kenya’s solar potential makes solar powered irrigation pumps, combined with low-pressure drip systems, an attractive technology that can drastically improve crop yields, productivity and farmer income while avoiding massive amounts of GHG Emissions.