“In dry season there is almost no water and the crops die very easily...If we can use the pump to pull water from wells and rivers, we will have better crops throughout the year and live a better life...I can send more of my children to school.”
- Tul Bahadur Rana, Smallholder farmer in Nepal
Tul Bahadur Rana is a smallholder farmer from Tanahu village in Nepal who makes a living from farming. Like many farmers in Nepal, he faces the challenge of inadequate water supply and lack of electricity to pull water from nearby water sources. He struggles with low production which leads to low earnings to support his family.
By providing solar-powered irrigation systems to underserved farming communities, a Nepalese social enterprise is committed to improving the lives smallholder farmers like Tul Bahadur.
To provide sustainable energy to underserved, energy-poor communities
Poverty among smallholder farmers in rural areas in Nepal due to lack of water sources and reliable electricity
Provide affordable solar-powered water pumps to smallholder farmers at a subsidized price to increase productivity and self-sustainability of farmers
Funding Usage Plan
The funding will be used to subsidize the initial investment in solar pumps to reduce the financial burden of farmers
Agricultural Challenges in Nepal
In Nepal, farmers in rural areas are limited to farming in the rainy season due to the lack of irrigation systems to pull water from nearby sources. This causes a serious limitation in their earning and lifestyle. Many farmers are unable to provide basic necessities in life due to low production in dry seasons.
Low agricultural productivity is a big challenge for Nepal. Although 81% of the employable population are involved in agriculture, the sector only contributes 34% of the national GDP. Farmers in Nepal face many challenges including the lack of agricultural infrastructure, high production cost and low access to technology and finance. The devastating earthquake in 2015 caused much damage to the existing agricultural infrastructure.
Damages from the 2015 earthquake are still visible in Kathmandu, Nepal as reconstruction efforts continue. This photo was taken by the TBI staff during their visit in January 2017.
Ongoing Energy Crisis in Nepal
Irrigation systems require electricity, which is too often unreliable and costly in Nepal. Only 44% of the population has access to electricity, most of which are located in urban areas. Only 8% of the rural population has access to electricity.
The electricity consumption per capita in Nepal is 128kWh, the lowest in Asia, while the world average is 3104kWh. Even in cities, it is not uncommon to experience multiple interruptions of electricity throughout the day that last for hours. During winters, some areas do not receive electricity for up to 18 hours.
Moreover, the national production capacity has not been able to meet the rising demand, which is increasing at 9% every year. Although the demand for electricity in Nepal is 1250MW, the production is only 750MW. Nepal currently imports fossil fuels from India and China for electricity production, which is unsustainable as it is sensitive to political relations between the countries.
Let's Provide Solar-Powered Water Pumps for the Farmers!
Solar-powered irrigation system can be a suitable alternative for farmers in the present state of energy crisis in Nepal. Water pumps that are powered by solar energy are easy for installation, require minimal maintenance and can reach communities that do not have access to grid electricity. Moreover, it provides free energy once an initial investment has been made.
By providing a reliable, cost-effective irrigation system, smallholder farmers will be able to increase agricultural production even in dry seasons and increase their earnings. Increasing productivity in the agriculture sector known to be one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and stimulate socio-economic development.
A Nepalese farmer at his well waiting for the installation of the solar pump
Solar pumps pull water from deep below the ground powered by solar panels.
Ecoprise, a renewable energy company based in Nepal, has been distributing solar-powered water pumps to underserved energy-poor communities in Nepal. Since 2015, they have installed 27 pumps in five regions around the country. Each solar-powered water pump can benefit up to five farming families.
Through their business, Ecoprise aims to tackle the issues of low agricultural productivity and unreliable electricity supply that affects the livelihoods of rural farmers. Their goal is to increase the farmers’ sustainability through improved production and higher income.
One solar pump system can serve up to five farms.
Tul Bahadur’s family at their field
Ecoprise’s Social Impact
Provide reliable energy at an affordable price
Ecoprise provides a sustainable alternative source of energy for smallholder farmers in Nepal.
Goal 7. Affordable Energy for All
Improve agricultural productivity
Through installation of solar-powered water pumps, Ecoprise helps farmers increase agricultural productivity and achieve food security in their communities.
Goal 2. Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
Alleviate rural poverty
Ecoprise aims to improve the livelihoods of farmers and their families which contributes to sustainable rural development.
Goal 1. End Poverty
*This project is in alliance with SDGs adopted by the UN. Please refer to the UN website for further details.
Ecoprise Project: Business Model
*Ecoprise’s business model is rent-to-own. In this model the farmers pay a low initial down-payment followed by fixed monthly payments This will attract farmers in these solar pumps. With the help of these solar pumps the farmers can produce various crops throughout the years generating cash for payment of rental of solar pumps. After the payment of last rental, the farmers will own the pumps.
How Your Contribution Will be Used
With contributions from the TBI community, Ecoprise is planning to increase their distribution of solar pumps to marginalized smallholder farmers by providing them at a subsidized price. TBI funding will be used to subsidize the cost of pump installation in order to reduce the financial burden for farmers who cannot afford the cost of investment.
TBI staff with Suman from Ecoprise in front of their office in Kathmandu
Pump subsidy for farmers
Training farmers in pump maintenance
Awareness campaign & promotion
*In the case that the total contribution is over $3000, Ecoprise will use additional amount to distribute more pumps to farmers or provide pumps with higher capacity to serve more farmers in its location.
Ecoprise: A Renewable Energy Company
Ecoprise designs, builds, and installs clean energy products in Nepal. Its mission is to provide sustainable energy to underserved, energy-poor communities in order to create positive economic, environmental and social impact. Since 2010, they have distributed over 700 solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays on government, commercial and residential buildings, serving over 50,000 people. Other than solar pumps, they also build products such as sustainable solar PV arrays, solar water heaters, LED light bulbs, and clean cooking stoves.
Nepal has one of the lowest Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) index in the world. In 2015, United States ranked 17th in the world with a PPP of $56,430, while Uganda ranked 185th with $2,500. PPP provides a measure of income level differences across countries assuming all exchange rates and living costs are equal. For more information about the economic situation in Nepal, please refer to the Global Business Knowledge website.
에코프라이즈는 태양광 에너지를 활용하여 물을 저렴한 비용으로 공급함으로 네팔 소작농들의 빈곤문제의 근본 원인인 물 부족 문제를 해결합니다.
Ecoprise is committed to enhancing the quality of life of small farmers with the help of cost-effective and eco-friendly solar pumps.