Farmers who have been barred by exorbitant prices of irrigation kits can now have them at a manageable cost, thanks to a partnership between SunCulture and Equity Bank that allow them pay in bits.
The memorandum of understanding between the solar irrigation kit supplier and the financial institution allows farmers to buy those kits through the bank by depositing 20 per cent of the total amount plus agreeable installments.
Once the farmer has deposited the amount for either size which ranges between an eighth of an acre and one acre of the irrigation kit which ranges between Sh19, 000 to Sh120, 000, the farmer can present his deposit slip of the 20 per cent to SunCulture office and presented with the kit together with a technician to help in installment.
This means that, if a farmer want an irrigation kit to serve his eighth of an acre farm which cost sh19,000, he just have to deposit Sh3,800 to obtain the kit which comprise of a long life drip tap, filtration system, solar panel, fertilizer injector, pipes and all needed connectors, fittings and valves.
This initiative gives farmers an ample time to grow and harvest their yields before they start repaying the balance in monthly installments. It gives small holder farmers an opportunity to embrace modern farming to produce high value crops at manageable costs. No interest is charged.
The SunCulture Agro Solar Irrigation Kit combines cost- effective solar pumping technology with a high-efficiency drip irrigation system to make it cheaper and easier for farmers to grow.
According to the company’s CEO Charles Nichols the kit has it has been designed to pull water from any water source using solar power. The solar panels provide the pump’s energy directly without the need for expensive batteries or inverters. He added that water is then pumped into a raised water storage tank during the day. ‘’When irrigation takes place either in the evening or early morning, a valve on the water tank is opened and water flows down through a filtration system and onto crop root zones via drip irrigation tape,’’ explained.
This system, according to Nichols uses free renewable solar energy as opposed to other sources like battery and electricity hence can help a farmer save up to Sh20, 000 monthly on fuel costs only. He said that, with the right application of the recommended farm inputs a farmer can also earn up to a whopping Sh1, 000,000 per acre, per season by growing high value crops like capsicum, tomatoes, onions, and cabbages.
The package comes with an easy to operate drip system hence reduce labour costs, minimize fertilizer and water wastage. This facility enables farmers also to produce high quality crop that meets high end markets standards like restaurants, green groceries and even international market.