Updated Aug 11, 2020

Low-cost solar pumps for field crops

Part of CIMMYT


Timothy j. Krupnik

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Low-cost solar irrigation pumping technologies to enable farmers to make use of groundwater and increase resilience in Nepal's terrai region.

Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Seeds & Stock and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Seeds & Stock, Soil Management and Agriculture Water ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:

India, Nepal and Bangladesh

India, Nepal and BangladeshSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding


High energy costs for pumping groundwater for irrigation and a lack of viable and durable energetically efficient and environmentally sound pumping technologies that Nepali farmers can reliably access.



While market prices for solar panels continue to decline, European-sourced pumps and their controllers are not getting any cheaper. Without government subsidies farmers are not willing to purchase solar pumps. CSISA embarked on the rapid development and testing of a 1 kilowatt Sasto Solar Sichai (cheaper solar irrigation) pumps that could be used for the irrigation of field crops like wheat, maize and rice. Using off-the-shelf 48 volt DC motors and charge controllers that were already being used in the transport sector in Nepal (e.g. battery-powered three wheelers) and connected to 2-3 inch centrifugal pumps and powered by 1,200 watt solar PV panels, CSISA had brought down the cost of a 1 kilowatt system from over US$ 2,500 to less than US$ 1,500.

Target Beneficiaries

Resource-poor farmers in Nepal's terrai region

Competitive Advantage

Low-cost and makes largely makes use of materials available within Nepal.


Date Unknown
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Seeds & Stock and 2 more SEE ALL
Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Seeds & Stock, Soil Management and Agriculture Water Management SEE LESS
Implemented InBangladesh, Nepal and India
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In