Introduction of solar irrigation pumps

The Sunflower pump has been developed to provide smallholder farmers with an affordable and sustainable way to bring water to their fields. The solar panel captures the sunlight and converts it into electricity which drives the pump. The pump comes in a suction version (up to 7m) and a deepset version up to 20m.

The capacity on a clear day is maximum 13 m3/day when lifting from 4m and 4 m3/day when lifting from 20m. The capacity can be increased by adding a second solar panel. Assuming a crop requirement of 5l/, this capacity is enough to serve a field of 2500 m2 and 800 m2 respectively.

Futurepump ltd (UK) is the company that manufactures and markets the pump with technical support from PRACTICA.


In the long term the goal is to provide farmers in developing countries with access to this technology so that they can increase their income and at the same time increase food production.

The Sunflower is presently marketed in Kenya and field tested in Ethiopia, Nepal, Honduras, Zambia and Burkina Faso. The field test experiences will be fed back into the design to improve the product.


  • Refine the design
  • Supervise the production in India
  • Follow up on the field trials in Ethiopia, Nepal, Honduras, Zambia and Burkina Faso.


  • Liberty foundation: three grants with a total value of €101,000 have supported the design phase of the Sunflower pump and the elaboration of a business plan to introduce this pump on the Ethiopian market.
  • IDE Powering Agriculture grant, €100,000 for 2014 and €50,000 for 2015.
  • IWMI LIVES project, €7,000 for pilot in Awassa, Ethiopia.
  • USAID Grant, through Futurepump UK a further €75,000 over the period 2016-2018.


A solar pump has been developed and tested that is affordable, economically viable and suits the needs of smallholder farmers in developing countries. The pump is currently produced by Futurepump India ltd at a rate of 100 pumps per month. The intention is to ramp up production to 10.000 units per year by 2017. Please contact Futurepump Ltd for distribution enquiries.

  • solar irrigation pump
  • maintenance solar pump
  • training solar pumps
  • solar irrigation fabrication