Innovation That Matters

| Photo source © Martin Yegon via Unsplash

Transforming farming with solar irrigation kits

Agriculture & Energy

The smart water management system boosts productivity and cuts water usage by 90 per cent

Spotted: Climate change is affecting every continent, with 2024 recording the driest February in over 100 years in southern Africa. Crops have been so severely impacted that several nations in the region have declared a state of national disaster and are likely to have to import produce they normally grow.

Agritech company Irri-Hub Ke works to build resilience for the continent’s many smallholder farmers by supporting them in transitioning to more sustainable farming techniques, beginning with intelligent irrigation. Irri-Hub’s solar-powered irrigation kit includes rainwater harvesting and full stack services that help growers reduce water usage by up to 90 per cent while growing three times more produce.

The company’s “farmer starter pack” includes a site visit from a technician and an irrigation system customised for each grower’s size of land, location, crops, and goals. The kit includes rainwater harvesting pans that contain waterproof dam liners to prevent water from seeping into the soil or running off during a rainstorm. The solar pumps provide enough power to transport water up to two kilometres from the source.

Irri-Hub Ke offers a range of packages that include installation, training, and ongoing support, with clients providing labour for the installation. As well as the starter kit, Irri-Hub provides all its products, including shade houses, solar-powered water pumps, drip kits, and drip buttons, separately. Part of the full-stack services offered by Irri-Hub include agronomist-led crop selection advice, soil testing, and irrigation planning.

So far, the company claims its solutions have helped raise farmer incomes by 33 per cent a year. Irri-Hub wants to work with more than 50,000 farmers across Kenya by 2030.

Other innovations in Springwise’s library that are improving the efficiency of agricultural water use include an AI-powered water management platform and a sap-flow sensor that measures the movement of water within plants.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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