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Solar-powered irrigation significantly improves diet and income in rural sub-Saharan Africa
Date:1/10/2010

ms, the increase was 500 to 750 grams per person per day, which is equivalent to 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day the same as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Recommended Daily Allowance for vegetables and most of this change took place in the dry season.

The research team also concluded that, despite higher up-front costs, using solar power to pump water can be more economically sustainable in the long run than irrigation systems that run on liquid fuels, such as gasoline, diesel or kerosene. "When considering the energy requirements for expanded irrigation in rural Africa, photovoltaic drip irrigation systems have an additional advantage over liquid-fuel-based systems in that they provide emissions-free pumping power," they added.

"Overall, this study thus indicates that solar-powered drip irrigation can provide substantial economic, nutritional and environmental benefits," the authors said. "With the proper support, successful widespread adoption of photovoltaic drip irrigation systems could be an important source of poverty alleviation and food security in the marginal environments common to sub-Saharan Africa."


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Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
831-915-0088
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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