Jul 8, 2013
The project is scalable since it’s a capacity building proposal. However, the project requires more work in terms of defining stakeholders and impact assessment of the project.
Jul 31, 2013
The proposed project will be dealing with a technology that has been proven, and the impact of the proposal with regards to reducing diesel use and emissions is clearly defined. Furthermore, the proposal has clearly defined stakeholders (farmers) that will benefit from the project. The proposal is a capacity building project hence scalability may be an issue. The proposal is clearly presented, has support from external organizations and addresses the questions posed by the contest. Their summary could use a bit more detail.
Aug 26, 2013
Their performance to price ratio is phenomenal! $10,000 divided by 500 pumps is $20 mfd, sold and installed, but it's even better than that because it includes all the overhead of the project! And the expected additional income is $400 per year per farmer -- the payback is $20 divided by $400 = .05, divided by 365 days = 18 days. Show me ANYTHING with a payback period like that! This will scale like wildfire; they just need honest management of their money, and encouragement to sell for a high enough price to enable them to expand from earnings, political support to get government underwriting for each region they start in, and whatever other gap-filling support they need. It would also help to provide them maps of the state of the water table, so they can prioritize where they market by both hydrological productivity and social urgency. The complementary program for this would be training-through-demonstrations of both sustainable agriculture (BioIntensive gardening , and Permaculture), which emphasizes incorporating organic matter in the soil and using a deep mulch cover to retain water), and Rewilding Earth , which emphasizes allowing the native perennials to grow, and harvesting them for food (there are 80,000 edible plants in the world, and humanity gets 85% of its calories from just 18 of them). The success of the latter approach was demonstrated in Niger, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Such a program would teach the farmers how to grow more crops with 1/6 the water of conventional agriculture. You can see some of the context for these suggestions at www.DesignEarth.net. These programs together (actually just the pumps, but it would be much better with all of the above) will increase farmer income after guaranteeing abundant nutrition for farm communities, and enable purchase of village bootstrap kits which include information and communication technologies (ICTs) and knowledge bases tailored to the local eco-region, as well as sufficient renewable electricity generating equipment and SeaWave Batteries (coming after we get funded) to power the equipment.
Aug 26, 2013
Aug 28, 2013
The suggestion of substituting diesel power with human power concerns me greatly. Why do you think it is a 1:1 treadle pump replacement of a diesel-powered pump? How many man (or more likely, woman or child)-hours will be needed to do the same work? To escape the "ongoing cycle of hunger and poverty", I suspect the farmers and their children will need their hours to go to school and to perform other labor, time, and effort -intensive tasks that are more worthwhile than pumping water with their legs - tending to the land and crops, traveling to market, conducting other business (craft, trade) to sustain and improve their livelihoods.
Aug 28, 2013
Dear Arthur, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your concern..I would like to share with you that the farmers in question- the smallholder farmers actually own small piece of land, usually less than a hectare which is also fragmented. Traditionally most of these farmers depend on rain for irrigation and erratic rain patterns are only worsening the situation. As a result the farmers engage in agriculture only during monsoon and migrate for the rest of the year and work as daily wage labourers. Despite working very hard throughout the day they barely manage to earn to survive. In addition to a deteriorating quality of life,being away from the family etc. In response, IDEI promoted treadle pumps are low cost as a result can easily be bought by even a small farmer and hence they OWN an irrigation device and engage in year round agriculture instead of only during the monsoon. With irrigation & therefore cultivation for three seasons instead of one they generate about USD 400 as net additional annual income. So actually with treadle pump the smallholder farmers engage in their primary occupation- agriculture instead of doing other things. Regarding your point about number of hours & concern around children engaging in pumping the water- farmers are rather happy to engage in pedaling the pump as this helps them do agriculture and earn money! Also, several external & internal evaluation reports (available on our website www.ide-india.org )confirm that with greater disposable income in hand, generated with use of treadle pump, farmers actually start sending their children to school and invest good amount of money in raising the education levels of children.
Aug 28, 2013
Thanks for the context. Assuming that you will be presenting at MIT, I would suggest that it would be helpful for you to gather and present some details, especially numbers, on both the costs and benefits. How much time and effort is needed for treadle pumping equivalent to the diesel pump rental and the 87373 litres of diesel? Can you clarify how you calculate "1000 person-days" of employment? Under what conditions is there a $400 benefit in increased agricultural productivity and was this compared to no irrigation? An important question: what would the net additional annual income be if the farmer used diesel irrigation?
Nov 1, 2013
This treadle pump was demonstrated at WEFTEC (Wastewater and Water industry). The Saajhi treadle pump’s pressurized water delivery (spray or drip) system uses 40 percent less water, with 25 percent less labor, compared to traditional furrow irrigation. Using no electricity and having very few removable parts (which are field-serviceable, with no tools required), the Saajhi targets the needs of smallholder farmers in poverty-stricken and water-scarce countries. In other words, it can help save lives — at a price of about $200 per unit. Though it’s serious subject matter, it was a hoot (check out the video) to see the treadle pump demonstrated on the tradeshow floor — among the many interesting sights and sounds that WEFTEC annually provides. Feel free to share your thoughts of the show, or of the technologies featured in this article, in the comments section below.