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EASI-Pay: Enabling Access to Sustainable Irrigation with Flexible Pay-as-you-go systems

aQysta has developed a hydro-powered pump called “Barsha Pump” which utilizes the energy of flowing water to pump water from rivers and canals, without using any fuel or electricity, hence, resulting in zero operating costs and zero greenhouse emissions. Compared to conventional pumps, the Barsha pump can save more than 70% of irrigation costs over its lifetime.

However, the upfront investment required for the Barsha pump is higher than that of conventional pumps, which is difficult for farmers to pay from their cash-savings, especially for smallholder farmers, even though the benefits over the long term is clear. To match the payment for the pump with the cash flow of farmers, aQysta has developed and piloted financing mechanisms where irrigation is provided as a service incorporating pay-as-you-go models. aQysta believes that with these financial interventions, farmers can improve their livelihood and eventually contribute to the economic growth of the nation. With these interventions, farmers can take advantage of their revenue generating opportunities and realize their true economic potential.

Pay-Per-Harvest Mechanism: This mechanism is being piloted in Sumba, one of the driest islands in Indonesia, where agriculture is limited to some valleys next to rivers, mostly during the rainy season. Enhancing food-security by enabling year-round farming requires pumping water from the river. However, commonly available solutions such as diesel pumps are too costly for smallholder farmers on islands. The demonstration of two Barsha pumps in 2015 raised interest among smallholder farmers. There is a willingness to pay, however, the upfront costs of the pump are too high to be covered from savings, especially for women with the aspiration to become commercial farmers as their husbands migrate to find jobs on other islands. Under this mechanism, farmers can purchase a pump now and pay later after they have harvested their crops and earned revenue from the sales of the crops. Farmers pay a certain percentage of their revenue per harvest to aQysta.  aQysta will have the ownership of the pump until the full payment is made by the farmers. Farmers will be selling the crops to the intermediaries that aQysta chooses.

THE FARM INCUBATOR: Under this model, aQysta provides a salary to farmers who farm with the Barsha pump. aQysta provides all the input required for farming and sells the harvest in the market. In this way, all the financial and market risks attached to commercial farming are detached from farming activities.  This model is piloted in Nepal and is generally used for incubating small and marginal farmers who do not have the financial capacity to make a transition from subsistence to commercial farming on their own. After a few years of the experience and knowledge with commercial farming, the farmer has the option to take over the farm and grow the farm to a bigger scale.

 

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