Solar water pumps are an example of a distributed energy approach to energy access that prioritizes productive uses that generate income for farmers.
What’s preventing African farmers from getting pumps is a familiar challenge: their relatively high upfront costs (ranging between $300 and $1200) put them out of reach of most farmers. Banks and other financial institutions in Kenya have also been slow to embrace full-scale lending.
A Solar pump made financial sense only for commercial farmers, and those who did take out money to cover the high upfront cost were able to pay the loans back quickly. “For smallholder farmers who are doing an acre of tomatoes or vegetables, they are able to get back the investment in one and a half cropping cycles. That means they only need to use the pump less than a year and they are able to get back their capital,” said Samwel Tobiko, a senior marketing officer at Juhudi Kilimo.
Full article: GreenTechMedia