A full 40% of the global population relies on agriculture as its main source of income, and many live without access to traditional energy infrastructure. Highly efficient solar water pumps (SWPs) can deliver modern irrigation and drinking water services to the nearly 500 million small-scale farmers worldwide.
Scaling the commercial market for SWP technology will make modern irrigation more accessible and cost-effective, increasing farm-related incomes and improving educational, nutritional, and economic outcomes.
- Improving farm productivity has a direct impact on poverty alleviation. Studies show that a 10% increase in agricultural productivity for smallholder farmers in Africa leads to a 7% reduction in poverty.
- SWPs also present a far-reaching opportunity to reduce labor burden on women and girls who commonly bear the brunt of agriculture and water-ferrying work in rural areas.
However, obstacles remain to achieve a more flourishing market. The 2-day workshop encouraged cross-collaboration among product designers and distributors, technology specialists, agriculture sector experts, and other key stakeholders to uncover and identify the many challenges and opportunities facing the SWP market today. The group coalesced around eight topic areas: 1) Consumer & Market Intelligence; 2) Distribution, Installation, and Service; 3) Financing & Business Support; 4) Design & Development; 5) Capacity Building; 6) Testing and Quality; 7) Policy Environment; and 8) Environmental Sustainability.
To learn more about specific outcomes, see the comprehensive Solar Water Pumping Global Market Development Roundtable Workshop Report.
The Efficiency for Access Coalition is scaling up and bringing together a range of institutional efforts that use energy efficiency as a tool for driving rapid and sustainable progress in delivering clean energy access to the world’s poor. Among products with the greatest potential impact, highly efficient solar-powered water pumps promise to change the lives of millions.