Status: Started late 2014
Number of beneficiaries to date: 10 farmer groups
This project is a partnership between Latia and Solar Pumps Association of Switzerland (SoPAS) and its goal is to improve small farmers’ access to solar pumping and drip irrigation technology. Initial indications in Kenya are that solar pumps combined with affordable small farmer drip kits could be more economical for irrigation than the conventional fuel-operated pumps for small scale farmers farming 1 to 2 hectares of high value crops. Solar pumps and equipment however require a larger initial cash investment which most small farmers’ don’t have. The project will test and demonstrate the functionality of the solar pumps under various farming & domestic use scenarios regarding topography, source of water, farm type/size. It will also examine the economic benefits to farmers and pump rental service providers and level of returns on investments that can be expected. The project will also partner with financial institutions with a view of developing suitable financing products for the solar pump-drip irrigation kits.