The business case for solar irrigation in Kenya

Dec 10, 2018

Source/author : Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership

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Kenya’s 3.5 million smallholder farmers largely rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops, as only six percent of farmland in the country is irrigated. As the population grows and the climate changes, these farmers will need to meet the growing demand for food while building their resilience to changes in rainfall patterns. Irrigation can provide this resilience while increasing farmers’ incomes, as it allows for the growing of high-value, nutritious vegetables such as tomatoes and cabbage. The expansion of irrigation capacity in Kenya has thus far been dominated by traditional pumps powered by diesel or petrol. These cause pollution and leave farmers vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of fuel. SunCulture and Futurepump are two of a small number of private sector service and technology providers pioneering the sale of solar-powered irrigation pumps to small farmers in Kenya. Based on REEEP’s work in the sector since 2013, this brochure demonstrates that though market barriers remain, given the right financing mechanisms solar irrigation technology has the potential to improve millions of lives and enhance livelihoods in Kenya and beyond.


SunCulture and Futurepump both sell solar-powered irrigation pumps. SunCulture sells these in a package with either mist or drip irrigation.

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