Two years ago, Spowdi AB began working with the Indian agricultural cooperative Raidco Kerala to test Spowdi Mobile Pro in the fields of Kerala state.
– The results are very positive, and we are now preparing for the next step. Installing a robust and sustainable system that allows smart water distribution requires a limited investment by the individual. But it is a big step for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers, says Spowdi’s CSO Anders Andersson.
By distributing water via the solar-powered micro water irrigation system, the Spowdi Mobile Pro irrigation system can reduce water use by 80% compared to traditional irrigation methods. Additionally, direct CO2 emissions are completely eliminated. This will see millions of so-called one-acre farmers, small-scale food producers, around the world get better yields, grow a greater variety of crops and at the same time minimize their use of fossil fuels and water.
In collaboration with Raidco Kerala Ltd in India, the irrigation system was tested on four hectares of arable land used to grow coconut palms, fruits and vegetables.
To measure the efficiency of the Spowdi Mobile Pro, reference points were placed at 100 trees.
– We are happy with the performance of the system during the test. The system runs efficiently with very little power and the water delivery requirement is met, says Mr Valsan Panoli, chairman for Raidco Kerala.
Since its inception in 1972, Raidico Kerala has worked to support and develop small-scale agriculture in the Indian state of Kerala through the development of farming methods, distribution and manufacturing of agricultural machinery, technical solutions and supplies.
– Kerala is the perfect test market and gives our products the opportunity to prove their worth. That the tests showed results beyond expectations is good news for us and for the 500 million the one-acre farmers, who will benefit from new opportunities to grow and develop with our solutions, says Spowdi’s CSO Anders Andersson.
In low-income countries, small-scale agriculture accounts for a large and important part of food production. One-acre farmers supply 70% of crop production globally. Agriculture with a great growth potential, both by supplying food to local markets and by contributing to jobs and development opportunities to the local economy. However, the typical one-acre farmer often lacks large investment opportunities and further suffers from seasonal drought and lack of reliable electricity sources.
Currently, the solution is usually diesel-powered pumps that use more than 200 litres of diesel every year and where each pump annually emits around 700 kg of climate-impacting CO2 into the atmosphere.
On top of this, existing systems use very large amounts of water, something that can be a real danger for the large parts of the world’s agriculture that suffer from water shortages. A problem that is only worsening with the ongoing climate crisis. The cost of running Spowdi Mobile Pro is also extremely low compared to the costs of running a diesel pump. The savings mean the Spowdi Mobile Pro pays for itself within 18 months when compared to any diesel pump system. Spowdi Mobile Pro provides a solar energy driven drip irrigation system, for the one-acre farmer so they can be self-sufficient without leaving a carbon footprint while at the same time reducing water usage by 80% compared to traditional irrigation methods.
– So far, India with its special conditions has been a core market where we have been able to develop and refine our technology with a focus on creating cheap and robust mobile solutions based around solar energy. It’s technology that has potential for large parts of the world. That is why we are broadening our focus with a view towards Europe and North Africa, says Anders Andersson, who is currently in Malaga, Spain, where Spowdi are opening a demonstration facility.
Since 2014 Spowdi AB has developed and patented the world’s most energy-efficient solar-powered micro water irrigation system for the hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers around the world.
The company is funded by state owned Almi Invest GreenTech, SHL Medical AG and a number of seasoned private investors.