iDE releases new study on drip irrigation

iDE, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the manufacture, marketing and distribution of affordable, scalable micro-irrigation, has released a new study on the upscaling of drip irrigation. The report, entitled The BoP Market for Drip Irrigation, aims at developing a global perspective on the market opportunity at the BoP (Bottom of the Pyramid) for drip irrigation technologies.
“The data looks at the problems facing drip irrigation usage in developing countries, and sizes the business opportunity for the sector to come together to take on this challenge of scale,” Kevin Andrezejewski, Global Supply Chain Manager for iDE, told The Source. “By using secondary and primary research, we have identified priority markets and the different segmentations to understand the key obstacles to distribution and adoption of the technology.”
With over 150,000 drip irrigation kits sold to date to smallholder farmers, iDE is looking at the opportunities to bring this technology to even greater scale through collaboration. By rallying industry to work on this challenge together, the goal is to explore solutions to scale the distribution and use of drip irrigation to increase water efficiency, improve crop yields, reduce labour requirements and ultimately increase income generation for smallholder farmers.
The main obstacles hindering the adoption of Drip Irrigation Technologies include smallholder farmers understanding of the benefits of the technology, related technical training and support, financing to purchase the equipment, and access to markets to sell crops.
“iDE is overcoming this hurdle by scaling our Farm Business Advisor(FBA) approach, which is a network of private-sector extension agents,” added Andrezejewski. “FBAs deliver high-quality agriculture inputs, technical services, link farmers to financing and advise them on how and where to sell their harvest. The study has helped us frame the most common themes associated with scaling up drip irrigation through the findings of in-depth interviews with our country programmes.”
Through collaboration, iDE has identified a broader shared goal for the industry to promote the benefits of drip irrigation to smallholder farmers. A task group, including companies such as Toro, Netafim and JAIN Irrigation Systems, will be challenged with becoming a common voice to advocate for drip irrigation technology, with a market-oriented mindset.