In Summary
  • The new pumps are targeting to improve their farming methods including saving time, as well as reducing cost of irrigation through the discontinuation of generators which need fuel to operate.

Dar es Salaam. Agri Must Lead Company Ltd specialised in farming inputs has introduced solar irrigation pumps targeting at least 2,000 smallholder farmers.

The new pumps are targeting to improve their farming methods including saving time, as well as reducing cost of irrigation through the discontinuation of generators which need fuel to operate.

The Company’s head of programme and partnership, Mr Peter Mkufya, told The Citizen that the technology which was initially introduced in India has gained popularity after small holder farmers adopted its use and is now spreading to other parts of the world including Africa.

“The solar pumps were initially invented in India then later introduced to other parts of the world including East Africa, starting from Kenya and now Tanzania has started its use,” he said.

According to him, irrigation is crucial since rain-fed agriculture is affected by drought and floods that will be worsened by climate change, impacting significantly on both the national economy and smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to food insecurity. In view of this, the 80 panel watt solar irrigation pump is connected direct to the sanction pipe which waters a quarter acre farm in five minutes compared to normal watering which takes up to an hour.

He said that so far they have been able to reach farmers in Mwanza

Arusha and Dar es Salaam but target is to reach at least 2,000 farmers by the end of the year.

“We have 250m solar panels, and one can be used by farmers groups or communities, so we are sure we will reach our target,” he said.

Reports show that solar irrigation pumps are convenient especially with the ever continuous spreading drought conditions coupled with rising fuel costs, solar pumping solutions are an increasingly attractive option for rural farmers.