Here comes the sun – A SF1 solar pump demo day with a farmer group
Recently we have been working to reach more farmers in our sales regions and we understand that customers feel greater trust in purchasing a product they have seen working. For us this is a win-win! We really enjoy getting out in the field and demonstrating the SF1 solar pump and being able to talk to and get to know the needs of real customers makes it all the better.
We tend to focus our SF1 demos at farmers in our sales cluster of Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay county, this is to ensure that we can provide the high level of aftersales servicing we at Futurepump strive to offer. Nevertheless, in March a group of 30 farmers from as far as Kitale and Mount Elgon (Bungoma and Trans Nzoia county) came to see the SF1 solar pump at our office in Kisumu (Nyanza county). These farmers are already well organised and clustered in the region through the out grower, Safe Produce Solutions (SPS).
We have noted the number of interested farmers in the important agricultural regions of the Bengoma and Trans Nzoia counties and this may present an exciting opportunity for us to expand our sales regions, watch this space!
Back to the demo day…
Over the course of the day we demonstrated the solar pump at our office in Milimani, Kisumu, discussed irrigation practices as a group and visited one of our pump users on his farm in Kendu Bay.
What was great about the trip was that it gave us the opportunity to talk about the current cultivation and irrigation practices of the farmers and discuss ways to improve this together. Of the 15 farmers who shared their irrigation method, the majority, nine farmers, are currently irrigating manually. In this case, water is carried from the water source to the plant with buckets, either by hired or family labour. One of these farmers, Olito said: “This pump would make the work easier.”, while another, Isaac stated: “I could start doing farming as a business, farming all year round”.
The following group of four farmers are using a petrol pump to irrigate their land. Petrol costs for these farmers varied from 300 to 800 KES per week ($3-$8) or 3600 to 9600 ($36-$96) for a three-month dry season, with land size varying from 0.5 to 1.5 acre. These famers see economic benefits of using the sun as energy source. Philis indicated that: “The pump is easy and saves money”, while Elijah commented about the negatives of petrol pumps, “we invested in a pump and still we are spending money to run it!”.
The final two farmers are growing rain-fed crops. They were excited about the new possibilities the SF1 pump would bring them. Dennis explained that: “From September to March we are doing nothing, this will help me do something in that period!”. Also commenting on the difficulty growing in the dry season, Solomon saw the benefit of the SF1 pump and stated: “This can make us rich, we can grow in the off-season”.
Overall the day was extremely interesting and enjoyable. We hope that the farmers got a lot out of the trip too. If you are reading this and would be interested in purchasing a pump please register your interest on the form at the top of this page or on our ‘buy’ page.