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.

In Malawi, over 80% of the poor are small-holder farmers. They depend on unreliable rain to grow their crops and have, at most, two harvests per year. We encourage irrigation farming, develop, launch and promote low cost irrigation pumps (treadle pumps and hand pumps).

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

What if farming is taken as a business?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Malawi, over 80% of the poor are small-holder farmers. They depend on unreliable rain to grow their crops and have, at most, two harvests per year. In poor seasons wide spread food shortages are experienced, and poor rural people tend to suffer chronic food insecurity and malnutrition. Since 1970, the productivity of most crops has not improved due to lack of irrigation techniques and equipment, improved varieties, and financial services

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

We develop, launch, and promote low cost treadle pumps and hand pumps that enable small-holder farmers to irrigate their crops. 2. We offer business training to the small-holder farmers. The manually operated treadle pump and hand pumps allow farmers to easily pull water from a river, pond or shallow well (as deep as 25 feet deep), pressurize it through a hose pipe (even up a hill) and irrigate up to two acres of land. With irrigation, farmers can grow crops year-round. They can grow higher value crops like fruits and vegetables, get higher yields and most importantly, they can produce crops in the dry seasons when food supplies dwindle and the market prices are high. New business established due to business training's provided.


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.

Our pumps have a got potential to transform peoples life. They are easy to operate and, because they are pressurized, they allow farmers to direct water where it is needed. It is a very efficient use of water, and unlike flood irrigation, does not lead to the build up of salts in the soil. Because of the long dry seasons and growing population, there is potential for many thousands of farmers to start irrigating without flooding the market. A number of new business will be established and thousands of poor farmers will be uplifted out of poverty. The greatest need for the poor is money, our treadle and hand pumps shows great promise for the poor, with the technical advice offered by our team, farmers will move to commercial farming.

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

We are still at the development stage, testing our models, and modifications. Our team is dedicated at conducting research to see which model shows great promise. We want to up lift as many poor farmers as possible out poverty, which is going to be achieved by encouraging farmers adopt irrigation farming and our treadle pumps and hand pumps as well as equipping them with the best irrigation technical expertise and business techniques. In order to achieve a greater impact we would like to make our pumps accessible, cheaper and durable.

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

We plan to partner with NGOs and other companies, this is because they will give us access to the small-scale farmers that they are already working with. we understand that the greatest innovation can not change the world if it's not accessible to the people, hence we plan to build a good supply chain from the existing private sector. Establishing ambassadors in the areas that we are working as well as getting our products into retail shops.

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

To ensure a profitable supply chain, we will make sure that our products get out into retails and designing the suitable package that best fit a certain market. As long as there is demand, the wholesalers and retailers will have an interest in ensuring our tools stay available. It also means that we have a permanent network for replacement parts hence the project is self-sustaining. Partnering with micro-finance institutions and other NGOs.

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

There are so many companies producing irrigation pumps and offering irrigation and business advice in Malawi. Our products are user friendly and cheap, there is a well thoughtful supply chain which aims at reaching the poor. Most companies sell solar powered submersible pumps, which have proven to be expensive and they require technical expertise for its maintenance. Our Model shows great promise as it is easy to repair, and to carry (easily transported). The business training offered to our clients gives them room to venture to other social enterprises other than farming.

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.