Low-Cost Solar/Wind Drip Irrigation for Small Farmers in Developing Countries

University of Massachusetts - Lowell, 2008 - $46,839

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.

Solar panel for the irrigation system.

Summer 2009 update: A prototype system has been installed on a small farm in Peru; results to date are positive.