Solar powered drip irrigation system

October 16, 2012

Innovation does not necessarily mean having to re-invent the wheel. Combining the information out there, could actually already be enough. In fact, there are geniuses doing just that. These include those working at the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). The team had the great idea of combining two proven technologies: solar power and drip irrigation. The outcome of this technology mix is called Solar Market Garden (SMG), a unique solar-powered drip irrigation system.

Although solar power and drip irrigation are highly important technologies in developing countries, they are rarely used together. The Solar Market Gardens take advantage of their common potential: solar power is used to pump water from nearby rivers, supplying drip irrigation systems in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way.

So much for the theory. In practice, women farming collectives in the arid region of Benin use Solar Market Gardens and experience a huge impact with this combination of technologies. They simply no longer have to rely on rainfall. Even in the dry season the women can cultivate fruits and vegetables, ensuring a regular income for their families. With the aid of increased financial resources resulting from this, they also help to pay school fees and medical treatment in their communities.

It is not only the organization’s projects that affirm the success of the technology mix. A two-year study conducted by Stanford University confirms that the solar powered system “significantly augments both household income and nutritional intake, particularly during the dry season, and is cost effective compared to alternative technologies.”

Check out the study and see for yourself: (Video)

Caroline Weimann
Caroline Weimann

Caroline Weimann is member of the “empowering people. Award” team at the Siemens Stiftung (foundation). She studied International Law, Economics and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London as well as Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford. Before joining the Siemens Stiftung, she worked on health and development issues at the European Commission and at a consultancy firm for non-profit organizations.

 

Function:
Basic Needs & Social Entrepreneurship

Topics

  • Water & Waste Water
  • Energy
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Integral Solutions
  • Water & Waste Water
  • Energy
  • Food & Agriculture