Sunday, October 9, 2011

IDE's Treadle Pump & Drip Irrigation

IDE's Original Sensation: Treadle Pump

The treadle pump is a human-powered irrigation device that sits on top of a well. Pumping is activated by stepping up and down on treadles which drive pistons, creating cylinder suction that draws groundwater to the surface. Treadle pumps free farmers from dependence on rain-fed irrigation, provide capacity to raise crops in two growing seasons per year, and help farmers maximize return on their small plots of land. Pump prices, including installation, range from US$20 – $100 based on country of purchase and type of pump.

In Bangladesh, IDE played an instrumental role in popularizing treadle pump technology through focused value chain and social marketing interventions. Presently, 84 manufacturers now produce treadle pumps and 1.4 million treadle pumps have been sold to small plot Bangladeshi farmers since 1985. IDE's successful treadle program in Bangladesh stimulated organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), KickStart, and Enterprise Works to begin their own treadle pump initiatives in other countries, and triggered a groundswell of interest in the design of small-scale water technologies for poor farmers.

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Also see Drip Irrigation w/$5 hanging bag system:

Entry into High Value Produce Markets

Drip irrigation provides farmers the most efficient way to grow crops in water scarce areas, but historically has been too expensive for small-plot farmers. After first approaching manufacturers of commercial drip irrigation systems, IDE developed its own design for small farmers. Our designers lowered the cost of drip systems by replacing conventional emitters with holes and micro tubes, shifting water distribution lines extending to crops, and customizing system layouts for small plots. Development of a hanging plastic water storage bag further lowered the cost to about $5 for a household garden kit covering 20 square meters (215 square feet).

In fact, any plot under .4 hectare (one acre) can benefit from these systems, but their modular design allows for expansion above that. They provide water savings of 30–70 percent, greatly reduce labor, and accurately deliver fertilizers. This makes cultivation during the dry season possible, with resulting yield increases of up to 30 percent.

IDE promotes drip irrigation throughout the developing world. Our drip systems have helped people with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe to improve their nutrition by growing vegetables, as well as coffee-growing families in Nicaragua by reducing the flowering time of plants from three years to one and a half years. In 2008, IDE sold approximately 8,500 drip systems to small farmers across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

And lots more:

IDE is a Social Enterprise

We operate in eleven countries creating income opportunities for poor rural households. By providing our customers with low cost access to water for agricultural use, and profitable links to markets, we can immediately double their income, creating economically stable communities and providing our farmers with life-altering choices. Over the last 28 years we have worked with more than 3.8 million families, increasing their aggregate income by over one billion dollars.

Facebook: Paul Polak, Founder at IDE - International Development Enterprises

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