The main characters in this project are the two Indian brothers Hussain, from Assam. They designed a simple, low-cost windmill which could pump water. Up till then, diesel-powered pumps were used for irrigation and salt-mining because of an insufficient electricity distribution in most areas. In some cases farmers were pumping manually. The Hussain brothers constructed their first model from bamboo and tin sheets. After three years of optimizing the windmill, it has turned out to be a mature product with a large scale testing around Gujarat (20 prototypes). A windmill has become a better solution for salt mining than for field irrigation, due to the fact that Gujarat is one of the main salt mining states and the strong winds found in this area.
Via the Indian organisation Gian four Industrial Design students came in touch with the two brothers in 2011. They stayed for three months in India to research the financial feasibility of the windmill. Also, the technical design is further improved in collaboration with the Hussain brothers, taking in account product maintenance and convincing other farmers.
To make the windmill business economic feasible, the selling process was analysed. The local salt famers have been supported in selling their product by setting up a new fair-trade salt product, -brand and –business, called Chakardi Salt. This Salt brand helps farmers to find their clients themselves, independently from brokers. For every truck filled with salt they sell, a new windmill can be bought. This project made the lifes of the salt farmers easier, because the farming process is simplified and they receive a fair price for their product.
Additional info can be found on the website of India Windmill.