Stage 4: Transition to Scale
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Small scale farmers in East Africa are struggling to earn more income in conditions of greater uncertainty in the weather. Farmers need innovative solutions that help them access irrigation and other key technologies in ways that fit into their farming systems and cash flows.
We offer innovative irrigation solutions that make irrigation affordable to smallholders in East Africa.
First, we provide irrigation as a service. Farmers can pay as little as $2 to irrigate commercial plots using our service. We do this by using innovative and fuel efficient pumping technology, and integrating it into a software powered client management system.
Second, we provide 'mobile irrigation systems' to smallholders with asset financing. This system can serve more than one farmer, and by being mobile it lowers the per acre cost dramatically. Second, we offer irrigation services to farmers with small plots, by organizing groups of irrigators and charging farmers per plot using a pricing algorithm that considers soil type and moisture, total head, and pumping time.
Commercial smallholder farmers in East Africa, especially in the horticulture sector.
Mission and Vision
Agriworks aims to be a leader in providing irrigation to smallholders in East Africa. Our vision is a thriving small farm sector in the region through irrigation and other agricultural technologies. We support this vision, by developing innovative approaches to irrigation, including mobile irrigation systems on asset finance, and low cost irrigation services for smallholders.
The Agriworks Mobile Irrigation System (AMIS) is a mobile, modular system for 1 - 6 acres. Because it is mobile, it can be shared by more than one farmer, and because it is modular, farmers can upgrade in a piecemeal way as they earn from the technology. Our design is extremely easy to learn & use, and requires minimal technical knowledge from the farmer. This gives it a low cost of sale, and makes it profitable for farmers in the first season after purchase.
How does your innovation work?
Our core innovation is to reduce the upfront cost of irrigation technology by making the systems mobile. This means it can be shared by more than one farmer, and customers can spread the cost while still being able to irrigate commercial-sized plots. Being mobile also lets the farmer keep the system in a safe location at night. Second, the design is fully modular, allowing a farmer to start small and add more features over time. Finally, because the AMIS is extremely easy to learn use, farmers can master it in a number of days.
Compared to existing solutions in East Africa these products are up to 4 times cheaper than the existing alternatives. By using the AMIS, farmers can realize:
- 4 times increase in the number of farmers that can get irrigate their plots
- Doubling their irrigated area
- 3 times increase in value of yearly production
- Twice as many weeks of harvesting per year
We base our products and services on extensive research and development with our target customers and in partnership with Universities and private firms in the US. This helps us target and develop solutions that fit the needs of farmers in our market better than alternatives. It is difficult and costly to earn sales from smallholders who have small plots and are spread out across the landscape. This makes it unattractive to other irrigation companies who focus on more lucrative larger scale and wealthier clients. We aim to compete with local lower quality equipment stockists by offering technical support, and asset finance with flexible terms, as well as irrigation services to farmers who do not want to buy equipment.
Planned Goals and Milestones
Agriworks aims to offer our technologies throughout East Africa. We hope to establish a number of offices in high potential areas, and work in partnership with other organizations that have a large farmer membership to reach out to potential customers.
We are interested in partnerships for scaling out, and organizations interested in promoting the AMIS in your area would be welcome to contact us.
|New Implemented Countries||Kenya, Tanzania|