Monday, 7 December 2009

Developing countries need appropriate, low-cost technologies

Amitabha Sadangi is Director of International Development Enterprises India (IDEI), winner of the Ashden Award’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009.

The gravity and magnitude of climate change demands that we get down to quick, firm and sustainable action. I believe our environmental problems are of our own making and if we want to change what lies ahead we need to look at the actions of today.

IDEI is addressing the needs of poor farmers in India by promoting appropriate technologies and by optimising the use of water for irrigation. We have developed a simple treadle pump and drip irrigation technology for small hold farmers that are low cost and environment friendly. Together the two technologies have led to saving over 530 million litres of diesel, over 3000 million cubic meters of water and 417 million kWh of electricity,

Over one million farmers have adopted our technologies – that is around five million people - and made a net income of $1 billion.

We are fixing what exists. As the World Economic Forum highlighted recently, drip irrigation is improving irrigation systems, with reduced wastage of water through evaporation. Now we are advocating for greater accountability by questioning “subsidies” that are leading to the exploitation of our precious water resource.

IDEI does not believe in charity: we strategically leverage grants from donors to create markets for technologies - thus bringing down the overall cost for the farmer. By linking farmers and others in the supply chain to credit and by using Bollywood films to market the technologies we have made sure that they reach poor farmers throughout India, with interest growing in other parts of Asia and Africa.

Read more Voices on Copenhagen

International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) has developed extensive local supply chains to manufacture, distribute, sell and install the treadle pump, branded ‘Farmer’s Friend’

View the Ashden Awards videos of IDEI:

No comments: