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Solar-Powered Irrigation System Increases Vegetable Production Up to 500% in Sub-Saharan Villages


Africa is the second largest continent in the world and the second most populated after Asia. Even if Africa has the highest amount of resources on the planet, it also has the poorest countries in the world.

A recent study made by Jennifer Burney from Stanford University shows hope for the next generations: it seems that solar-powered irrigation systems have significantly enhanced the living standards of sub-Saharan African villagers.

The sub-Saharan people usually survive with less than $1 per day, and almost 80% of this goes on food. But thanks to the pumps installed in the West African nation of Benin, people are able to get water and grow their crops even in the dry season. Most of the communities rely on rain-fed agriculture, and only 4% of the cropland in sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated.

The solar-powered irrigation systems not only absolve women and young girls of carying water but they increase the productivity of the land and the health of the population. After two year investigations, it seems that the solar-powered irrigation system increases vegetable productivity up to 500% compared to the non-irrigated areas.

The system could help reduce the poverty in the sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the higher costs at start-up, the solar-powered pumps seem to be more economical that the systems running on fossil fuels.

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