Saturday, June 22, 2024
Startups in Africa

Kenyan Agritech Company, FuturePump is Facilitating Low-cost Solar Irrigation for Farmers

There are 500 million one-acre farmers around the world. Rainfall has become very unpredictable due to climate change and fuel for petrol pumps is expensive.

Futurepump is on a mission to design develop and manufacture robust solar irrigation products for small scale farmers.

The FuturePump solar irrigation pumps are both robust and portable. They offer smallholder farmers a cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable alternative to costly and polluting petrol or diesel pumps.

Irrigating crops leads to more reliable harvests and provides the opportunity to grow and sell produce out of season. This can bring huge economic benefits to the farmers, their families and the wider community.

Access to affordable irrigation is a major limit to farm productivity. In Africa, only around 5% of cultivated land is irrigated, compared to 41% in Asia.

FuturePump used an undisclosed Seed funding round to invest in solar power whereby Farmers make a one-off investment to buy a surface pump that can suck up to one liter per second of shallow water to irrigate surrounding crops.

The pump is made of three parts – PV panels that convert sunlight into electricity and drive the DC motor, a unit coupled to a flywheel that drives the pump, and a reciprocating piston pump.

According to Japheth, a farmer that has been a recipient of FuturePump solar irrigation pumps “I used to irrigate with buckets but I could not do much because the bucket capacity is very small. I tried a MoneyMaker pump, but it was so labor intensive that I ended up spending much money hiring people just to help me pump the water. I also tried petrol, but I would use $10 a day – this cost is too high. So, if I didn’t have the Futurepump, I think I wouldn’t be here now in the dry season because it is already too hot. But with the Futurepump now I know I will harvest something good.”

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