Unreasonable Impact | Improving Job and Food Security for 30 Million Farmers in India

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Unreasonable Impact | Improving Job and Food Security for 30 Million Farmers in India

by Brittany Lane

A lead vegetable farmer in West Bengal uses a pilot Khethworks system.

A farmer in Keonjhar district in Orissa rents the Khethworks pump to irrigate his bhindhi (okra) crop during the summer season.

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Improving Job and #FoodSecurity for 30M #Farmers in #India http://bit.ly/2rMxDe7 @Khethworks @UnreasonableImpact @Barclays_cship #SDGs
Monday, July 10, 2017 - 8:35am

CAMPAIGN: Entrepreneurs

CONTENT: Blog

In eastern India, around 30 million farmers tend to an acre or less of land, where they can’t access most of the available renewable groundwater or reliable agriculture-grade electricity. In a country that will be the world’s most populous in a matter of years, the need is dire for increased agricultural productivity. Khethworks has developed a solar-powered irrigation system that allows these small-plot farmers to affordably cultivate year-round.

CEO Katie Taylor shares why she believes in the transformative power of irrigation, which can improve food security, counter the environmental effects of diesel and kerosene pumps, and generate sustainable employment for millions.

What inspired you to start this company?

The seed for Khethworks was sewn in our very first semester of grad school at MIT in 2013. I met Kevin and Victor in Professor Winter’s Global Engineering course. Kevin and I chose a project to design a solar pump for a one-acre drip irrigation system.

As Tata Fellows, we were able to water that seed, as the fellowship provided us the opportunity to visit east India frequently and speak directly to small plot farmers and farmer-facing NGOs across the region. There, we found that a fitting drip system was not the central problem for these small plot farmers. They simply lack affordable irrigation options for conventional irrigation.

Solar irrigation was too expensive for them. However, we knew that if we could reduce the solar panel costs by improving the efficiency of the pump, we could make a solar irrigation system more affordable.

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Keywords: Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Barclays | India | Khethworks | Life on Land | Reduced Inequalities | Sustainable Development Goals | food security | job security | unreasonable impact

CAMPAIGN: Entrepreneurs

CONTENT: Blog