SunCulture designs and sells solar-powered irrigation systems and agricultural extension services that make it easier and more reliable for farmers in Kenya to grow high-value fruits and vegetables.

SunCulture’s solar-powered drip irrigation systems deliver water and fertilizer directly to crop roots, resulting in yield gains of up to 300% and water savings of up to 80%, according to the company. Over a thousand smallholder farmers in East Africa have installed SunCulture systems so far. Their solar irrigation kits have a payback period of only one growing season as a result of the increased crop yields and the savings on fertilizer, labour and diesel to power water pumps. To increase access for smallholder farmers, SunCulture also offers various financing options.

The world’s 450 million smallholder farmers, most of whom live in the developing world, must adapt new technologies to keep up with growing food demands.

Samir Ibrahim – CEO, SunCulture

In addition to drip irrigation systems, SunCulture also provides other services to improve the productivity and competitiveness of smallholder farmers. These services include soil and water analysis, recommendations on crop selection, onsite technical support and maintenance of the irrigation systems as well as access to new markets for the produce.

Why you should care

More than 80% of Kenya experiences low and erratic rainfall, and climate change is making the rainfall patterns in the region even more unpredictable. As a consequence, farmers are unable to rely on rain-fed agriculture to meet their subsistence needs throughout the year. Although diesel and treadle pumps are available, diesel pumps are unaffordable due to high fuel costs, and treadle pumps can only pump from a limited depth and they require significant physical effort. SunCulture’s system relies on renewable solar energy to provide more reliable livelihoods for farmers.

How the Global Goals are addressed

No Poverty

Microfinancing options increase access to modern irrigation technology which is able to lift smallholder farmers and their families out of poverty through increased productivity and profits.

Zero Hunger

Groundwater is a more reliable source of water for irrigation than rainfall in East Africa, therefore SunCulture’s irrigation systems result in more reliable crop yields.


Gender Equality

Farmers, many of whom are women in East Africa, stand to benefit the most from increased incomes and labor savings resulting from improved crop irrigation.

Clean Water and Sanitation

SunCulture reports that switching to its root drip irrigation method results in agricultural water savings of up to 80% over conventional surface irrigation methods.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

SunCulture claims that the average financial benefit to a farmer is over $10,000 per acre annually due to increased crop yields as well as petrol, labor and input cost savings.

Climate Action

Every kit installed in place of a diesel-powered pump prevents over 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, according to the company.