aQysta’s Barsha pump is a low-cost, innovative solution for smallholder farmers to irrigate their fields without using any fuel or electricity. The hydro-powered pump is easily implemented anywhere there is flowing water nearby and requires little maintenance. aQysta has sold and installed 21 hydro-powered pumps, allowing 286 households and 1,464 users to irrigate 36 hectares of land in Nepal. Previously these households could not irrigate because the costs and energy required to pump were too great. To date, the majority of users have been poor, and due to workforce dynamics where men work as laborers and women take on agricultural tasks, use of pumps has increased women’s agricultural productivity.
One of aQysta’s proudest stories of impact is a village that had farmed the same crops for 400 years and, with the help of the aQysta pump, has been able to diversify to multiple vegetables that grow throughout the year rather than just during the monsoon season. This has allowed some of the younger men to stay and farm rather than migrate to cities looking for work. The village is both able to produce vegetables for their own use and also for sale, generating additional income sources for the village.
In Year 2 of their SWFF award, aQysta sold their target 20 pumps. Now the design is standardized, the firm has 70 pumps, is soliciting working capital, and preparing for mass production in Nepal rather than in Europe. They have a distributor and planned to sell 500 pumps in 2017, and 1000 pumps in 2018. Overall, sales orders have been increasing, and aQysta has also been active in building a local team.
There has also been an increased awareness of the aQysta brand with the Barsha pump. Many new organizations and farmers that aQysta approaches already know about the technology.
aQysta is currently looking for distributors.
USAID, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Government of South Africa, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provide this innovator with funding and technical assistance.
[Story transcribed from Securing Water for Food: https://securingwaterforfood.org/innovator-news/aqysta-impacts-smallholder-farmers]