August 2010

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Sustainable Vision in action: video diaries from the field

Periodically we get to spend time with our Sustainable Vision grantees in the field. We pleased to share with you their experiences, lessons learned, and insights.

Irrigation Innovation

June 2010

NCIIA grants manager Jennifer Keller Jackson on location in Peru. 

Project: Low-Cost Solar/Wind Drip Irrigation for Small Farmers in Developing Countries - University of Massachusetts Lowell

Interviewee: Carolina Barreto (Project PI John  Duffy)

Overview: The aim of this project is to provide small farmers in developing countries with an affordable solar drip irrigation method that promotes the sustainable use of water and energy.  The world’s food security relies on improving irrigation techniques for smallholder agriculture in developing countries. The common irrigation practice is flooding with seasonal water gravity fed systems or diesel/gasoline-powered pumps.  Solar pumps are clean, efficient and have lower maintenance. Drip irrigation (DI) is 40% more efficient than furrow.  Depending on the crop, DI could allow three harvests per year instead of one in the rainy season, generating enough income to pay for the system.


Part one: Background


Part two: In the field


Part three: Reservoir


Part four: Reflections; and lessons in businss for engineers!