Kenyan agritech startup Ifarm360 has partnered with Swiss solar tech company Ennos and Epicenter Africa to support smallholder farmers with solar technology to help reduce food insecurity in the East African nation.
With most Kenyan farmers heavily relying on rain-fed agriculture and outdated farm irrigation methods, the use of solar powered irrigation is becoming a more viable way to guarantee good yields round the year.
While only 4% of Africa’s arable land is under irrigation compared to 60% in Asia, the continent’s population relies on agriculture for livelihood, but erratic rains have been a major detriment for many families.
“Solar irrigation technology offers the greatest hope for these farmers. With a solar kit, a small-scale farmer can farm up to 3 cycles a year, increase yields by 300%+ and earn up to $14,000 in annualized household income,” a statement sent to Afcacia from the firm reads.
Farmers still struggle with a high cost of land acquisition and lack of a sustainable financing model to purchase seeds, fertilizer and pesticides.
Through its crowdfunding platform and farmer network, ifarm360 seeks to mobilize resources to support installation of over 1000 solar kits in the first phase of the project.
Ennos, a Swiss based solar technology provider, is working on design and technology that will ensure that the 1000 solar kits are functioning perfectly for the Kenyan farmers.
Epicenter Africa, a solar and energy solutions provider and distributor will support local farmers with access, installation and technology support for the solar kits.
According to Derrick Gakuu, CTO of Ifarm360, Solar technology is a life changing technology that will transform the lives of smallholder farmers.
“With this technologies, farmers have the freedom to farm what they want, when they want it. This partnership will empower farmers to produce more, climb out of poverty and adopt environmentally friendly farm practices,” he said.
Ifarm360 leverages on its digital crowdfunding platform to mobilize finance, match it up with high-yield-return smallholder farming activities with the goal of transforming the agricultural sector in Kenya.