In six years India will be the most populous country on Earth. The opportunity is great and the need dire for agricultural productivity to increase. Viable irrigation options for 85% of Indian farmers – the small-plot farmers – are key.
At Khethworks, we make efficient and portable solar-powered irrigation pumps that enable smallholder farmers to cultivate year round, while using their existing irrigation practices.
Working with smallholder farmers, we designed the system\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s cornerstone especially for their needs: a centrifugal pump which is portable, easy to use and highly efficient. The high efficiency means fewer solar panels are required, which makes the whole system more affordable to the farmer.
The Khethworks solar pump provides an alternative to to dependence on inconsistent monsoon rains and costly fuel pumping.
Farmers save money over the lifetime of the Khethworks pump compared to a fuel pump, as they never have to buy fuel again, and are no longer subject to fluctuating fuel prices or fuel scarcity. Additionally, since the amount of time running a solar pump doesn’t correspond to the amount of purchased fuel (the sun is free!), the farmer can increase their cropping area and their agricultural productivity, by irrigating their crops the recommended amount to get the best yield.
The Khethworks solar pump unlocks the summer season, a time in which crops fetch a higher market price. Additionally, when not in use, the portable system can be rented out to neighboring farmers as an additional source of income.
With the combined costs savings and income generation from year-round cultivation, the Khethworks system has the potential to transform farmers’ lives.
We impact farmers like Kumar, a tribal Ho farmer in Jharkhand who shared a diesel pump with his neighbors. While he had a dug well with plenty of water, he still was not cultivating in the profitable summer season. The reason was: Kumar simply could not afford the diesel it would take to irrigate in the hottest months when crops need the most water.
However, with the Khethworks pump, he grew his first-ever summer season crop! Previous years, Kumar spent summers doing migratory labor in a diamond mine, but with the Khethworks system he was able to stay home and do what he felt was the dignified work of tending his land.
Khethworks’ impact comes when farmers grow more, earn more and provide more for their family, community, and country.