Solar irrigation agriculture climate change ecosystem irrigation pumps groundwater data
07 May 21
According to estimates, only 6% of Africa’s farmland is irrigated, compared to 35% in Asia. As a result, Africa’s agriculture is largely rainfed and has among the lowest productivity in the world.
Solar irrigation pumps have immense potential to address irrigation and productivity gaps, particularly in off-grid areas. Research suggests that 5.4 million farmers in sub-Saharan Africa alone could benefit from their use. Although a vibrant ecosystem of solar irrigation pump manufacturers and distributors has developed to meet demand, the growth of the sector is limited in part by a lack of funding. Loans from microfinance institutions are usually too small and banks are often unwilling to lend to ventures aimed at small farmers, who are seen as high risk.