Enabling Access to Sustainable Irrigation with EASI-Pay for Barsha pumps in Indonesia
Aim: This applied research “Enabling Access to Sustainable Irrigation: Pay-per-harvest Irrigation Service for Barsha pumps in Indonesia (EASI-Pay)” addresses the barrier to pay for the upfront costs of the Barsha pump in Sumba, one of the driest islands in Indonesia. 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, common available solutions such as diesel pumps are too costly for smallholder farmers on islands. Barsha pumps are hydro-powered pumps, not using any fuel or electricity, so operating costs are zero. The demonstration of two Barsha pumps in 2015 raised interest among smallholder farmers. There is willingness to pay, however the upfront costs of the pump are too high to be covered from savings, especially for women with aspiration to become commercial farmers as their husbands migrate to find jobs in other islands. This applied research addresses this barrier by piloting the Pay-per-harvest irrigation service and studying risks and barriers that must be addressed to scale the model to empower other smallholders, especially women.
Objectives: The objective of the research is to establish a financing mechanism that would help in creating access to environmentally friendly irrigation technology to small-holder farmers, to enable year-round farming, which will enhance income level and food and nutrition security of the people, without damaging the environment. Furthermore, the research stresses on developing suitable financing mechanisms which would enable farmers to pay for the solution, rather than giving away the technologies for free.
Method: The overarching research question of this project is: Does the ‘pay-per-harvest’ model increase ‘willingness to pay’ and ‘ability to pay’ for the Barsha pump? In order to answer this main question, several sub-questions with associated activities need to be performed:
- Sub-theme I: Design and Implementation of the pay-per-harvest approach.
- Sub-theme II: Modalities of and potential barriers to implementation.
Dutch policy goals: Eradicating existing hunger and malnutrition (‘people’); Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector (‘profit’); and Creating ecologically sustainable food systems (‘planet’).
Duration: 01 January 2017 to 30 June 2019