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KickStart, TCAF team up to provide Irrigation pumps to Ugandan farmers

Kenya based KickStart International, the producers of the renowned Moneymaker pumps have reached an agreement with Today’s Children Africa’s Future (TCAF) to start distributing their human driven MoneyMaker irrigation pumps in Uganda.

MoneyMaker Pumps made by KickStart International

The irrigation pumps will empower farmers in the East Africa country through enabling them to possibly get as many as three crops a year from their land and free them from relying upon rain for their crops.

Many parts of Uganda that have witnessed food shortage normally blame it on failed rains. As agriculture planting seasons become more uncertain and unpredictable, due to climate changes, irrigation has been cited as a big necessity if farmers are to continue to produce enough food for their own consumption and have some surplus food to sell. Even improved seed varieties that are currently being promoted need some amount of water to grow properly.

Richard C. Shermer, the Chief Executive Officer of TCAF says that the MoneyMaker irrigation pumps  will be an important mechanism to efforts to promote food security, benefit of smallholder farmers from food markets, as well as to eradicate poverty.

“Rather than relying on Aid from various agencies, the revenues from the additional crops will enable the people of Uganda to pay for their children’s educations and have a surplus of money for the other essentials of life.  TCAF is in the process of approaching various Funding sources to help it acquire several thousand pumps and the required hoses,” Shermer says.

Many farmers in Uganda have been complaining that they cannot afford to get the few available irrigation systems which they say cost millions of shillings.

Frank Tumwebaze, the President of the Uganda National Farmers Federation says irrigation tools need to be affordable to most farmers and should be a big part of efforts to modernize and mechanize agriculture in Uganda.

Shermer says in order to avoid possible aid dependence, TCAF will be distributing the pumps to farmers on what he terms as the “Rent option to purchase agreement”.

Farmers to pay for MoneyMaker irrigation pumps in installment and in-kind

“The farmer can rent a pump from TCAF with a small deposit, perhaps as small as $10.00 to $25.00 (between 20, 000 and 50, 000 Uganda shillings). They will have the use of the pump and its hoses for their current crop and will pay TCAF for the use of the pump either in Ugandan Shillings OR farm products. When they receive the pump they will be given the option of either renting the pump OR they can elect to purchase it either with Ugandan schillings or by giving TCAF the equivalent value in Farm Products. The farm products that TCAF receives will be distributed to hospitals, orphanages and families in need,” Shermer explained in an interview with the Africa Reporting Project.

He says in order to make the irrigation pumps more affordable to farmers, the payment for the pumps will be spread over several crop periods.

Ken Weimer, the Senior Development Officer of KickStart International says the MoneyMaker pumps which are produced in Kenya are internationally acclaimed for helping many smallholder farmers get out of poverty.

KickStart which started in Kenya in 1998 has distributed over 145,000 Moneymaker pumps and has won the support of many international organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The human driven irrigation pumps are currently being produced and sold in Kenya, Mali and Tanzania. “We are looking for partnerships to extend this revolutionary agriculture tool to many farmers in Africa. We are grateful that TCAF is enabling us to supply these pumps in Uganda,” Weimer said in an interview.

How MoneyMaker irrigation pumps work

He says the Super MoneyMaker Pressure Pump was in response to a demand by farmers for a pump that can push water uphill as well as simply pulling it up from the source. It is suitable for use on steeply sloping land where the water source may be at the bottom.

“Thousands use it to pump water from hand-dug wells, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. It is ideal for sprinkler irrigation, filling overhead water tanks, or for use with nozzles and sprays attached to the end of the delivery hose. This powerful pump can draw water up from 23 feet (7m) and has a total pumping head of 46 feet (14m). It can be used to irrigate up to 2 acres of land,” Weimer explains.

Shermer says the cost of the sprinkler irrigation pumps will depend on the cost of transporting the pumps from Mombasa to Ugandan farmers, although he said he doesn’t expect the cost to be above $ 200 or 400, 000 Uganda shillings.

“Our major aim is to help farmers starting with northern Uganda to empower themselves by being in control of the farming where they earn income. A farmer will pay for the pump when he or she has a product from her farming. The farmer can pay cash or pay in form of part of the farm produce,” Shermer says.

More related information

Uganda commits to increase Agriculture spending The New Vision

Ensuring farmers access affordable irrigation is mentioned in this article about Uganda’s new plan to increase agriculture productivity and food security under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan

Uganda Signs Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan WeInformers.net

One of the pillars of CAADP is to encourage science and technology that improves agriculture and empowers African.

For Uganda, Irrigation is the missing link to fighting hunger AfricaReportingProject.org

An article on how inability irrigate is increasing people’s vulnerability to hunger and keeping them in poverty

Micro Irrigation Technologies

KickStart website explaining their Money maker pumps and how they are promoting entrepreneurship and agriculture in different African countries.

MoneyMaker Pump Inventor Wins Lemelson-MIT Sustainability Award Inventorspot.com

How Dr. Martin Fisher, inventor of the MoneyMaker irrigation pump has won the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for sustainability
Give the Gift of Love

Today’s Children Africa’s Future

A moneymaking water pump-tools for farmers TIME magazine

The founders and impact of MoneyMaker pumps in empowering farmers out of poverty.

Don’t wait for the rain Youtube

A somewhat marketing song on MoneyMaker pumps by East African artist, Mr. Ebbo

Another Success story in Mali

A DW TV story on how the MoneyMaker pumps are empowering farmers who call it Manasora, with experts explaining why it important for farmers to purchase the pumps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZei012CM0I

KickStart Co-founder Martin Fisher interviewed by Global X, a Social entrepreneurship television program.

Transforming Africa from subsistence to commercial agriculture

An East Africa Business report story by CNBC Africa TV on how farmers in Kenya and other African countries are using small technologies to improve agriculture and earn more incomes.

Story By Gerald Businge

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