Affordable, High-Performance Solar Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers

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Last modified by Stefan Eibisch on 2016-05-25. This is a wiki so please feel free to update information by clicking on "Edit with form".

Project title

Affordable, High-Performance Solar Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers

Project country/region

☐ East Asia & Pacific
☐ Europe & Central Asia
☐ Latin America & The Carribean
☐ Middle East & North Africa
☐ North America
☐ South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa - Kenya

Project organisation

KickStart International (Kenya)

Project description


KickStart and its partners will focus on designing a clean energy solution with the farmer in mind—a high-performance yet easy to assemble, highly mobile, robust and durable unit that requires minimal maintenance. KickStart will design a foldable, flat pack solar irrigation pump that is easy for farmers to install. As Encap’s pumps are both low cost and highly efficient, they only require small solar panels. The addition of an innovative, flexible and reliable PAYG system will provide the farmer with affordable, alternative modes of payment and, by substantially de-risking the provision of credit, will attract investment from traditional lenders such as banks and microfinance institutions.


KickStart aims to transform the food and income security of smallholder farmers by enabling them to transition from rain-fed subsistence farming to year-round commercial irrigated agriculture. Over the next six years, KickStart plans to sell approximately 270,000 pumps across 16 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and estimates that 30 percent of these could be solar powered.


KickStart was established in Kenya in 1991 with the mission to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably. KickStart designs, promotes, and mass-markets simple irrigation pumps that smallholder farmers buy and use to start highly profitable family enterprises. KickStart has partnered with Encap Technologies to provide motors for affordable, solar-powered irrigation pumps and with Angaza Designs to incorporate a ‘pay as you go’ (PAYG) mechanism.

KickStart International (Kenya) participated successfully in the PAEGC Initiative ( and was with its project 'Affordable, High-Performance Solar Irrigation for Smallholder Farmers' among the winners of 2015.

Project related to following sources of energy


☐ Biomass

☐ Biofuel

☐ Biogas

☐ Wind

☐ Geo-Thermal

☐ Hydro

☐ Energy Efficiency

☐ Other: /

Project primarily related to the following Commodity Groups

☐ Cereals

☐ Fruits and vegetables

☐ Nuts and berries

☐ Forage

☐ Dairy products

☐ Meat products

☐ Oil Seeds

☐ Roots and Tubers

☐ Eggs

☐ Pulses

☐ Fiber Crops

☐ Forestry

☐ Sugars

☐ Stimulants

☐ Spices

Other: Horticulture

Project primarily related to the following Agricultural Value Chain Steps


☐ Efficiency of Operation

☐ Processing

☐ Transportation

☐ Controlled Atmosphere

☐ Controlled Temperature

☐ Mechanical Sorting

☐ Preservation

Other: Irrigation

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