Smallholder Solar Pump Alliance

P4G Theme

Food and Agriculture Value Chain




Partnership Type


Countries of Operation

Ethiopia ,


The Smallholder Solar Pump Alliance implemented solar-powered water pumps to improve smallholder farmers’ access to climate-smart irrigation in Ethiopia. 

Investing in Impact

P4G provided this partnership with US $99,959 in catalytic grant funding.  

To overcome the challenges of water access, cleanliness and affordability in farming, the Smallholder Solar Pump Alliance (SSPA) developed and refined the smallholder solar pump business and financing model in Ethiopia. Solar-powered water pumps use solar panels to pump groundwater to the surface, which can then be deployed in irrigation systems. By demonstrating commercially viable solar pump distribution in the Ethiopian market, the partnership supported the enabling financial environment to increase access and affordability to more farmers.  

The partnership has delivered 609 solar pumps through five Ethiopian solar distributors, benefitted 3,045 farming individuals and avoided 3.4 MT of Co2 emissions through the utilization of solar pumps as a replacement for conventional diesel alternatives. These solar pump sales have reached five geographic regions in Ethiopia including SNNPR, Amhara, Oromia, Somali and Tigray. The P4G Ethiopia National Platform supported SSPA by arranging meetings with relevant organizations to identify synergies between their solar pump projects and priorities, and to advance ongoing projects.

One member of the SSPA, SunCulture, saw 50% of its annual sales in 2021 driven predominantly by Ethiopia, and now considers them a key growth market due to the country’s rapid increase in solar pump units. This, combined with its takeaways from the SSPA, has led SunCulture to develop a partnership with one solar distributor, one core financial partner and the regional government. As a result, SunCulture anticipates sustained growth, particularly in the Oromia region.   


Green Way Farms


The Ethiopian Solar Energy Development Association (ESEDA)


The Smallholder Solar Pump Alliance project funded by P4G helped to kickstart our expansion into Ethiopia. The 18-month pilot allowed us to understand the nature of demand in a new market, solidify strong partnerships with the private sector, and align government ministries that will continue to facilitate the growth of the solar pump market ecosystem in Ethiopia.

Hack Stiernblad, SunCulture, Director of Business


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