Accessible and productive irrigation solutions

web_irrigation_4Small-scale irrigation is critical to ensure local food security and adapt farming systems to the growing consequences of climate change. Irrigation development is frequently hampered due to a lack of knowledge, accessible technologies and appropriate business models. Practica aims to break the status quo by developing and promoting accessible and productive irrigation solutions with farmer associations and local enterprises.

Creating scope for smallholder solar irrigation

Solar-powered irrigation offers clear benefits to farmers, including the absence of fuel dependency and a longer life-span of their pumps. However, conventional irrigation techniques and investment mechanisms do not provide an optimal context for upscaling solar irrigation. Practica develops solar pumps and re-invents water application techniques to create optimal technical packages at reduced costs. Smart supply chains, service networks and finance solutions are developed to increase accessibility and reduce risks for smallholder farmers.

Matching water efficiency and productivity

Very few farmers are ready to pay more for water-saving technologies. Unless it increases their productivity and income. Promoting water efficient solutions works if it pays off: farming is a business in the end. So when we showed that low-cost Californian water distribution systems can save 30-40% of farm production costs; farmers started buying the pipes from their own pockets. The same is happening with spray tubes which are selling rapidly at a 100% business to farmer base. Fuel and time savings are the major and most obvious benefits of increased water efficiency. Solar pumps and efficient water application systems like Mini Pivots also reduce soil erosion and nutrient leaching as a result of over-irrigation; thereby contributing to more sustainable and higher productivity in the long run. Practica selects, develops and promotes solutions that generate more revenue with less water.

Innovating with farmers and the private sector

The true irrigation experts are out there working their fields; and experienced technicians are found in every village. Practica works in close collaboration with farmer associations, technology manufacturers and rural technicians to develop, test, evaluate, fabricate and market smart irrigation technologies. Our private partner Futurepump Ltd is producing over 600 SF2 pumps a month in India and CSF in Burkina Faso has recently launched the production of three new irrigation technologies. Our technology and service innovations are the product of joint efforts with farmers and the private sector.

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