Technologies for horticultural development: Solar pumps improve irrigation options for farmers
Rain-fed agriculture can be a high-risk venture, particularly with changing rainfall patterns and high-value crops such as fruits and vegetables. Irrigated cropland is twice as productive as rain-fed agriculture (World Development Report 2008), but many farmers do not have access to irrigation infrastructure, including a nearby water source and power to move the water to and through their fields. Combining drip irrigation kits, newly affordable photovoltaic panels and off-the- shelf, 12-volt pumps can result in a cost-effective system for supplying water for irrigation. Solar-powered irrigation has the potential to increase incomes dramatically, particularly for the most remote producers.