Moni onse (hello all of you)!
My name is Ruben, a Msc Water Management student performing my Msc Thesis research in Malawi! Food and water are topics of genuine concern to many people in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. Most Malawians are smallholder farmers, meaning they farm on only a very little portion of land, and they often purely rely on highly variable rain as a source of water. Given the large number of smallholder farmers and the many challenges they face, improving irrigation to water crops is an attractive opportunity to secure food and develop rural areas.
aQysta, a company located in the incubator in Yes!Delft, has developed a simple and robust water pump, called the Barsha Pump, that harnesses the energy of the flowing water to lift it out of the river and push it to the agricultural plots. It therefore doesn’t require labour or expensive and polluting fuels like many of its alternatives. During my research it is my task to start to understand the factors that influence the decision to adopt certain irrigation technologies, with special focus on the Barsha Pump.
Currently the Barsha pump is implemented on the farms of relatively rich individuals, or in a few communities that can afford it. S4S is helping me to fund a Barsha pump at a smallholder location where the people don’t have the means to afford this kind of technology. The implementation can showcase the functionality, potential and usefulness of the pump in a poor smallholder farmer context and will help convince development organizations and the Malawian government to implement the Barsha pump in development projects elsewhere.