According to the UN FAO, lack of access to affordable irrigation is the number one factor keeping 400 million farmers in poverty.
The Sunflower Solar Pump is a simple renewable-powered irrigation device with the potential to displace millions of fossil fuel irrigation pumps globally. For farmers who are irrigating manually or not at all, and for small commercial farmers looking for alternatives to expensive fossil fuel pumps, it offers a compelling economic case.
Following REEEP-supported field trials in Ethiopia and extensive supply chain and manufacturing research in Asia, the product is ready for marketing on a wide scale in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kenya has 2.2 million small holders farming less than two hectares, and a further 740,000 small farms of between two and 10 hectares. Burkina Faso already has a successful distribution network built for the Volanta Hand Pump that can be used for this product.
To build a distribution network for the Sunflower Solar Pump in Kenya and to launch a pilot dissemination in Burkina Faso
Activities are designed to reach tipping point for scale and organisational viability:
Establish manufacturing network in India and China, conduct test runs manufacturing runs
Conduct detailed market studies in Kenya, ask peer groups to review distribution strategies.
Develop sales and marketing materials, and manuals for assembly, maintenance and troubleshooting
Test out three key distribution channels: agricultural dealers, engine pump dealers and a schools-based demo programme
Conduct 25-unit pilot followed by a 75-unit pilot across three districts with twin-track sales support and technical support programmes
Launch nationally across Kenya with two tiers of distribution, aiming for volume availability by summer 2014
Engage with major international NGOS for extra sales
Photo: Nick Jeffries