Jun 22

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About project


Equitable access to water for all is one of the major challenges of the 21st century affecting vital domains as health, education, food security and social and economic development in general. In one century the world’s population has tripled, while the water consumption has sextupled. One of the biggest challenges to adapt to this global crisis, aggravated by the climate change is to increase the efficiency of the use of water in the food production (70% of the world’s water consumption).

Modern drip- and sprinkler irrigation reduces water consumption by 70% respectively 50% compared to traditional flood or furrow irrigation. Making these modern irrigation technologies available for poor farmer can not only increase their income (“more and higher value crops per drop”) but contribute to better management of scarce water resources, a win-win situation. In the past several innovative technologies for micro-irrigation have been developed and disseminated, however often with limited success. The non-acceptance of the technologies by the poor (too expensive, not efficient) and the way of dissemination, especially through subsidies have been the origin of the failure. This project builds on technologies affordable for the poor and on proven experiences with profitable supply-chain approaches with the local private sector applying a delivery system with a business approach. The project follows market creation principles and thus supports local private supply chains to deliver affordable MITs to smallholder farmers that enable a more water efficient and productive cultivation.

The micro-irrigation technologies promoted can be compared to generics in the pharmaceutical sector; they are cheaper, not patented and can be easily copied. There are important and untapped market potentials for these technologies in many countries, however especially smallholder farmers have to avoid risks and wait until they are sure that a new technological solution works and they can observe the results either at their neighbor’s or at demonstration plots. Also, private market actors are hesitant to invest in these new technologies in the early stages of a market creation process when investments for marketing and technical assistance are high and profits still negligible. Various market based dissemination approaches have been successfully tested by iDE in different geographical, cultural and social settings all utilizing and building on the initiative of local supply chain actors. Public funds are only being used to facilitate awareness-generation about the technologies, to allow for technical trainings and to enable local supply chains to manufacture and supply at the lowest cost possible.

These market creation approaches furthermore enable a sustainable continuation for this project while safeguarding lasting impact in the areas of intervention, not only regarding the efficient use of irrigation water, but also regarding vital domains, such as food security and income generation. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (irrigation) water is a key resource. Its use is not only essential for agricultural production and directly related to the livelihoods of the rural population, but also an issue of regional tension and instability due to complex interdependencies among Central Asian states.



Working within the components (1) Supply Chain (2) Technical Capacities (3) Promotion and (4) Access to Finance the following four outcomes are aimed at until during 2016 both in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan:

  • Outcome 1: A financially self-sustaining Supply Chain is established (SUPPLY CHAIN)
  • Outcome 2: Technical capacities of stakeholders in the VC are built (TECHNICAL CAPACITIES)
  • Outcome 3: MITs are effectively and efficiently promoted (PROMOTION)
  • Outcome 4: Means to finance and buy MITs are in place (ACCESS TO FINANCE)



Dissemination of productive micro irrigation technologies (MITs) for smallholder farmers with a market systems based approach. The key element is creating financially viable supply chains in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that allow MIT sales to smallholders to grow after the end of SDC / GWI support.

Another dimension is making the technologies and the approaches available for replication globally through HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation – iDE collaboration.



  • government and micro-finance institutes are going to strengthen their efforts on promotion of DIS in the region. For example, there is a governmental program on development of new lands of Somgar massive with application of drip irrigation. In the framework on this program, the Sughd Regional Government is preparing infrastructure and they are going to give land to interested farmers and entrepreneurs with such criteria as: there should be established orchards with drip irrigation system.
  • Banks and micro loan organizations plan to extend their credit line for lending installation of drip irrigation in their credit portfolio and also they are going to conduct large DIS promotion campaign (like DIS billboards in the streets, DIS calendars, DIS leaflets, etc.).
  • Last phase of land reform in Tajikistan is finished. Farmers can manage their lands by themselves. It gave chance for them to use innovation technologies in their farms, such a DIS


Learned lessons:

  • the overall assessment from farmers about DIS is positive and there are high interests of many farmers;
  • sales turnover has grown five times comparing to 2013 (10500 TJS in 2013 and 58 873 TJS farmers paid by own in 2014);
  • there is great interest of the Sughd Regional Government on supporting development of market for DIS and promotion of DIS in the region;
  • micro-finance institutes are also interested to launch special credit products for lending installation of drip irrigation.


  • high costs of DIS;
  • lack of offers in the market, there are only two or three suppliers
  • lack of technical specialists, there are only two or three specialists.
  • Problem with utilization of unsuitable pipes of DIS


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