NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Africa’s technology firm, SunCulture, on Monday
launched a solar-powered water pump in Kenya designed to offer
smallholder farmers low cost solution to unreliable rainfall and
lack of access to grid electricity.
SunCulture said the
RainMaker, an innovative internet-connected solar water pump
system, targets mass market of underserved smallholder farmers
in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The firm’s CEO Samir
Ibrahim said most small holder farmers in Africa were only one
bad harvesting season away from financial ruin.
irrigation offers farmers an affordable alternative to the cost
of diesel and electric irrigation technology, enabling them to
substantially reduce energy costs and boost agricultural
output,” Ibrahim said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
RainMaker said its
high-efficiency positive displacement pump lifts up to 7,000
liters of water per day from wells up to 100 meters deep,
offering substantial value compared to higher priced systems
that can lift water only 10 meters.
Using energy from
the portable 120-watt solar panel and battery bank, RainMaker
pumps enough water to irrigate a one-acre farm and support
livestock and household water needs like drinking, cooking and
available in Kenya for 480 U.S. dollars including solar pump,
controller, battery bank, portable solar panel and sprinkler.
installation, agronomy support and after-sales services are
included in the price. RainMaker will soon be available on
SunCulture’s Pay-As-You-Grow platform that will enable
convenient installment payments via mobile phone.
According to the
firm, four out of five African families depend on agriculture
for their livelihoods, but just four percent use irrigation with
the rest relying on increasingly unreliable rainfall.
irrigated agriculture increases yields by 90 percent when
compared to nearby rain-fed farms, as World Economic Forum, 2015
indicated, but high diesel costs make irrigation an unaffordable
expense for many small farmers.
With 620 million
Africans lacking a connection to the electricity grid, electric
water pumps are also not a viable option.
RainMaker is both
low-maintenance and highly efficient, providing farmers with
high value fruits and vegetables while dramatically boosting
cutting-edge Climate Smart pump controller automatically
optimizes pump performance and battery charging based on cloud
cover - extending pumping by up to 6 hours on cloudy days.
includes long range, low power LoRa connectivity compatible with
wireless soil and weather sensors that enable farmers to
irrigate automatically based on soil moisture and climate