Solar panel driven water pumps in northern Malawi

The Story

The Story

Patterns of rainfall have become increasingly unpredictable in Malawi over the last 40 years.  This leads to shorter and less predictable growing seasons, poor crop yields, food shortages and hunger in a country with extreme levels of poverty.

Kilombero rice is grown by the famers of KASFA (Kaporo Smallholder Farmer’s Association) in northern Malawi as a cash crop and is imported into the UK by Just Trading Scotland. Cash crops are important for farmers in this region enabling them to pay for schooling for their families.

The Balmore Trust in partnership with KASFA, received a Scottish Government International Development grant to construct 20 shallow wells with solar powered pumps. Solar panels mounted on simple bogeys power the pumps at the wells.  This provides necessary irrigation when rains are late or fail during the growing season and allows for additional crops during the dry season.

Over 1,000 farmers have already benefitted from these wells. Such use of low carbon technology can provide innovative solutions to the challenge of sustaining rice crop yields in the face of unpredictable periods of drought.

Solar panel driven water pumps in northern Malawi

Kaporo, Northern Malawi
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