Ifarm360, a Kenyan crowdfunding platform for farmers, Ennos ,a Swiss solar firm and Epicenter Africa, a local solar distributor, have partnered to support smallholder farmers with solar technology in a bid to accelerate food security, climate action and end poverty.
ifarm 360, through its crowdfunding platform and farmer network, will mobilize resources to support the installation of over 1000 solar kits in the first phase of the project. Ennos, a Swiss-based solar technology provider, is working on design and technology that will ensure that the 1000 solar kits are working perfectly for the Kenyan farmers. Epicenter Africa, a renowned solar and energy solutions provider and distributor will support local farmers with access, installation and technology support for the solar kits.
With the partnership, the firms aim to help smallholder farmers in Kenya that struggle with the high cost of acquisition, lack of availability, and lack of a sustainable financing model. Ifarm360 aims to empower farming as a business by linking smallholder farmers to affordable finance from crowd investors to help improve farm production. Ifarm360 also helps users supervise production and create a sustainable revenue-sharing model for its users
According to Derrick Gakuu, CTO of Ifarm360, “Solar technology is a life-changing technology that will transform the lives of smallholder farmers. With these technologies, farmers can now farm up to 3 crop cycles a year. This partnership will empower farmers to produce more, climb out of poverty and adopt environmentally friendly farm practices.”
This is a welcome partnership as over 90% of Kenyan farmers heavily rely on rain-fed agriculture or use outdated farm irrigation methods like manual flooding and furrows. Only 4% of Africa’s arable land is under irrigation compared to 60% in Asia. Solar irrigation technology offers the greatest hope for these farmers. With a solar kit, a small-scale farmer can farm up to 3 cycles a year, increase yields by 300%+ and earn up to $14,000 (Ksh. 1,400,000) in annualized household income.