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KickStart Irrigation System


Description: Fights poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by selling low-cost irrigation pumps that dramatically raise farmers’ crop yields and incomes.

Why: Pumping water can help a farmer grow grain in the dry season, when it fetches triple the normal price. Inventor Dr. Martin Fisher described customers who had skipped meals for weeks to buy a pump and then earned $1,000 the next year selling vegetables. This innovation has created 64,000+ businesses, stimulating markets and enabling to poor to climb out of poverty. Costs range from $35 to just under $1000 US. Inspired by a treadle pump used in Bangladesh and India, these pumps are distinguished by features which include easy installment and maintenance, portability, and pressurization to facilitate irrigation on hillside landscapes. The Super MoneyMaker Pump, the most widely used model of these pumps, can pull water from a source (such as a pond, lake, stream, or well) as deep as 30 feet below the pump. It can then pressurize the water and spray it continuously to a height over 40 feet above the pump. It can also push water through a hosepipe for as far as 1,000 feet on flat ground, and it has the ability to irrigate as much as two acres of land. It retails for about US$100, and its users are earning an average of US $1,000 profit per year.

Audience: Communities, Individuals, Industries

Climate Type: Cold, Dry/Arid, Temperate, Tropical

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