Project Idea Note: Pintadas Solar

Project Idea Note: Pintadas Solar

: A case study of improving agricultural productivity and income generation through the use of Photo-Voltic water pumping systems in semi-arid Brazil

The project takes place in the community of Pintadas, in the Bahia state of Brazil, which is suffering increasingly severe drought impacts linked to climate change. There is a high demand for legumes from local and national markets, and a potential to cultivate a greater area of land for this purpose, but opportunities to expand local agricultural practices in this direction are restricted by the absence of an efficient, cost-effective irrigation system. Further, the high insulation rate of the area makes it extremely suitable for effective solar energy systems.

This project seeks to improve agricultural productivity in this increasingly drought-prone region through the implementation of a more efficient system of irrigation which uses a photo-voltic (solar) energy system, which is sustainable and feasible for use and maintenance by the local community.

This project is a sustainable, technological approach to adaptation and mitigation to climate change. The project consists of the installation of an electric water pump powered by solar photovoltaic (PV) energy and connected to a drip-irrigation system on a family farm in Pintadas.

The activities are: 

  1. Implementation of water efficient irrigation systems (drip irrigation with water cistern) using solar PV (photovoltaic) water pumps
  2. Capacity building of small farmers to improve agricultural productivity using water-efficient and affordable technologies that are easy to implement; and to use renewable energy for irrigation and to use water efficiently
  3. To actively engage the local community, especially women, in the use of this technology, through participatory processes
  4. To develop a regional replication and dissemination strategy
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