Making farming profitable for smallholder farmers is one of the agricultural challenges faced by India, Nepal and Kenya. This is due to various factors from a lack of reliable and cost-effective irrigation systems to an unavailability of accurate agricultural knowledge:
- Lack of irrigation: Only 5% of agricultural land in Malawi is irrigated. Hence, most farms are rain-fed and yield a harvest only once a year.
- Poorly developed supply chains: Supply chains to provide quality farming inputs and technologies are limited in remote areas.
- Limited access to financing to support hardware innovations: Smallholder farmers lack access to finance as interest rates of existing micro-finance institutions remain prohibitively high.
- Insufficient information and training to farmers and other end users regarding how to use available technologies/innovations.
Our proposed solution for empowering smallholder farmers involves water-powered pumps (e.g., the aQysta Barsha Pump model) and the Enabling Access to Sustainable Irrigation with Pay per Harvest (EASI-Pay) model. It is an aggregated approach to provide smallholder farmers with the holistic support required to transform from subsistence to commercial status.
In this combination model, hydro-powered pumps are provided to marginal farmers, along with agriculture extension services, critical agri-inputs, and market access for their harvests. Farmers pay for the product and service through a proportion of the harvest they reap from using the pump and services. The EASI-Pay mechanism is a perfect benefit-sharing model, where our revenue also grows as farmers become more successful and earn more income. To make the Barsha Pump even more accessible for marginal farmers in Malawi without commercial operations, aQysta has developed the award-winning, innovative Grown Farm Incubator Model, which is a perfect benefit-sharing model, where aQysta’s revenue grows steadily as farmers are more successful and earn more income.
Barsha Pump - A water wheel propelled pump that lifts water for irrigation from rivers with no emissions or operational costs (Solar Impulse Foundation)
[Video] The Barsha Pump Featured on The Water Channel (The Water Channel)
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