Millions of smallholder farmers in India live on less than 1 USD per day. Smallholder farmers face low crop yields and just one harvest a year – making it almost impossible for them to earn their way out of poverty.
Modern irrigation technologies cater to farmers with fields of four or more hectares, forcing smallholder farmers to rely on flood irrigation. This type of irrigation uses water inefficiently and does not maximize crop yields. Plus the water available for agriculture is declining fast and smallholder farmers are the first affected by water shortages.
GEWP is a for-profit spin-off of International Development Enterprises-India that distributes low-cost drip irrgation products designed specifically for smallholder farmers in India. GEWP distributes its products through a network of private local dealers in seven states.
GEWP’s system has raised the income of smallholder farmers by an average of 400 USD a year, increased crop yields by 30 to 70 percent, and delivered water savings of between 30 and 50 percent.
In 2008, Acumen Fund partnered with a rural development non-profit in Pakistan to facilitate the technology transfer of GEWP’s low-cost drip irrigation products to Pakistan. The resulting company, Micro Drip, now markets and distributes these products to small-scale farmers in the Sindh and Punjab regions of Pakistan.