Irrigation And Sustainable Land Development

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Irrigation And Sustainable Land Development: Enhancing Sustainable Rural, and Peri-urban Livelihoods in Malawi

Lilongwe, MalawiLilongwe, Malawi
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We believe that self-motivated private and young entrepreneurs managing small-scale enterprises can play a dynamic role in the economies of a developing country like Malawi. We help them to identify viable business opportunities and access the technologies required to launch the new enterprises.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if these entrepreneurs can raise small amounts of capital ($100-$1,000 US) to start a new enterprise. And then we equip them with business skills and technologies necessarily to execute there plans.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Agriculture is the most important sector of Malawi’s economy, it employs about 80% of the workforce. The sector, comprises smallholders and estates. 90% of the rural population are smallholders, and small entrepreneurs managing small-scale enterprises. Most of these are poor and are unable to diversify out of agriculture due to over dependency on rain-fed agriculture, unavailability of appropriate technologies and business knowledge.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

With a team of professionals in engineering we help solve this problem by designing, build and selling of low cost irrigation pumps (treadle pumps and PVC hand pumps) offering technical advice in irrigation, providing business trainings to smallholder farmers and to young entrepreneurs. We partner with organisations who already work with smallholder farmers and village loan savings associations (VLSA) in rural areas, we encourage them to incorporate irrigation and our low-cost irrigation pumps in implementing their programs. In order to achieve a greater impact we also provide free agricultural best practices (e.g. use of manure) trainings to smallholder farmers and encouraging young people to be in groups, and we sell them irrigation pumps


Since the project is at startup stage it has not yet received any award
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Mr. Chisoni is a father of four children (three girls and one boy), he believes that education is a key to his children’s brighter future. However Mr. Chisoni had difficulties to provide school fees for his children since he was completely dependent on rain-fed agriculture and his business didn’t expand. He never thought he could send his children to school until he learnt about irrigation farming and ISULD low cost irrigation pumps. He adopted irrigation farming and tried ISULD low cost PVC made hand pump, he was now able to produce enough for food and for selling. He is now able to pay school fees for his children and able to buy the basic needs on his household. He also managed to save for other enterprises.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Although we are at start-up stage, the project have up to date managed to transform the lives of two families where their household food security and social statuses have significantly improved due to adoption of irrigation farming and expansion of their businesses. Our partnership with Collective Action for Sustainable Community Development (CASCOD) has helped us gain an understanding of the community needs, the communities that CASCOD is already working with is our starting point and from this point forward ISULD we will transform a greater number of communities.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

To achieve the desired impacts of the project within the next 5-10 years, we have put in place a team which is dedicated at improving the design standards of our products by incorporating user’s comments and views. Conducting participatory rural appraisals, to establish what challenges are being faced in the communities in order to design the necessary technologies and business trainings required. Devising best marketing strategies to identify our best market entries, and to establish our ambassadors in the communities to help selling our products.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Bearing in mind that the poor need opportunity not pity, we sell our pumps and other services offered, instead of giving away. Partnering with the Micro-finance institutions to develop innovative finance mechanisms that provide options to the poorest farmers to purchase our pumps and to venture into profitable businesses. we will also be dedicated at improving our products and services by incorporating consumer views and comments in our design.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are so many private and Not for profit companies working towards poverty eradication and economic enhancement in Malawi. The solutions offered favors mostly the reach. Smallholder farmers, and young and self-motivated entrepreneurs find it difficult to pay for the products and services. Hence the gap between the poor and the rich is continuously increasing. This is why we offer low cost irrigation pumps, business training, and encouraging other organisations to adopt irrigation and to use our pumps when implementing their programs.

Founding Story

The idea to come up with this kind of a project came about in 2013, when I and my friend (founders), we were studying our degree programs, we saw how people were struggling to make ends meet in the cities and rural areas yet they have a potential to do better only if they are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and appropriate technologies. In 2013 it’s when I came to understand that people have time, all they need is the resources to utilize their time for the better well-being.


Currently our team is composed of; A Project Team leader, who is an overseer of the project, the person has a Bsc, water resources management and development, and has extensive experience in project management, Finance officer, has a background experience in accounting, the other positions include Monitoring and evaluation officer, Product intelligence and development adviser, Irrigation engineer/adviser, Water resources Specialist, and Partnerships and strategy adviser. We will also be giving opportunities to young water professionals and engineers to participate in our work in order to gain experience, as well as contributing to poverty eradication.