As part of the Minor International Entrepreneurship and Development of the Technical University Delft (2022/2023) a team has worked on innovative farming methods in Malindi, Kenya, especially the design of cool storage and solar water pumps.
They have looked for the potential of solar power for irrigation and farming, cold storage, and food processing as well as the community center, all in collaboration with local farmers, food technicians, and electricians.
For the cool storage, the students have worked on the design of a sea container, the isolation, and the energy provisions. For the solar water pumps, the students discovered that many smallholder farmers cannot afford a solar pump solution for themselves. They have worked on the design of a mobile solar energy pump. They calculated the amount of land that could be handled by one water pump in relation to size and investment and revenues.
They discovered that a solar water pump could easily outcompete a petrol-powered water pump. From their report: “Solar powered irrigation pumps minimize the dependency on electricity provided by the grid or diesel generators, therefore reducing the emission of greenhouse-gas. The solar systems also help farmers to become more resilient against increasing drought. In addition, solar irrigation contributes to meeting the requirements set by the government to lower the CO2 emissions by 2030, therefore creating environmental impact right now and in the future.”