Moving Africa from Rain-Fed to Irrigated Farming

Jamie Johansen

Now founder and CEO of KickStart International, Martin Fisher, at first wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. A Fullbright scholarship took him to Africa for a year to look for the potential use of technology and engineering in development. That one year turned in to 17 years in Kenya. Martin presented his case study at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference where I was able to sit down with him to hear his story and grasped a better understand of the challenges of farming in sub-saharan Africa.

Through those years Martin came to the simple conclusion that when you are poor anywhere around the world your #1 need is a way to make more money. With the goal to help millions of people globally make more money, KickStart International was formed. Martin said in sub-saharan Africa the majority of the poor are farmers, therefore his mission focused on moving farmers from rain-fed farming to irrigated farming.

With the focus of low-cost irrigation, Martin and his team developed a line of human-powered irrigation pumps called MoneyMaker Pumps. The pumps are mass produced and distributed across Africa through small local retail shops. KickStart has a team on the ground who educates the farmers about irrigation and it’s impact on their farms. Over 300,000 pumps have been sold globally, but the job isn’t done when a pump is sold. They then track the impact the pump has on the family. Martin said well over 75% of the families take a major step out of poverty.

Listen to my complete interview with Martin here: Interview with Martin Fisher, KickStart International

Listen to his case study presentation during conference here: Case study on MoneyMaker Pumps

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Water for Food Global Conference Photos

Ag Groups, Audio, Food, Irrigation, Technology, Water, Water for Food