Solar-powered irrigation systems can make water available for growing vegetables or raising fish in impoverished communities. These projects, managed by the nonprofit SunFarmer.org, provide agricultural cooperatives with access to affordable micro financing for solar irrigation systems through a revolving fund.
The Problem: No Power for Irrigation
70% of Nepal’s population works in agriculture, yet the country is a net importer of food due to low production. Most farmers
grow crops only during the rainy season because they lack reliable irrigation. Without access to electricity, diesel generators are
the only way to pump water for irrigation. The fuel is expensive, however, and fuel deliveries are unreliable in rural areas.
Farmers need a more affordable and sustainable solution for crop irrigation during the 8 to 9 months of the year when there is no rain.
The Solution: Micro-financing for Solar Irrigation Systems
This initiative is the first time financing has been available in Nepal for solar-powered irrigation. Solar water pumps are clean and
cost-effective, eliminating fuel costs and providing excellent reliability. This allows farmers to extend the growing season and also
to increase their income by growing high value vegetables.
Mandy’s Farm is a nonprofit organization that assists individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve goals by structuring a positive, purposeful and caring environment for living, learning, and working in the community.
Horseback riding, organic gardening, caring for animals – the staff and residents of Mandy’s Farm spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors. They care deeply care about nature, and as an organization they want to be sustainable.
They also have a pool, and an artspace. That takes a lot of energy. Unfortunately they don’t have a huge, national funding base, so solar panels were out of reach. We wanted to change that.
Sunshine plays a big part in our daily lives – adding energy produced by the sun will be a huge bonus to our cause and fits in perfectly with our mission.
Ruthie Robbins, Mandy’s Farm Founder
Together We Made it Happen
Mandy’s Farm was the site of our first solar installation. The system has been up and running smoothly, taking a big bite out of their utility bills and their carbon footprint. Over its lifetime, the installation is expected to save them $40,000 in electricity charges. Thanks to our crowd of supporters and generous community sponsors, who helped make this happen. We particularly want to thank: