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MoneyMaker Low-cost irrigation pumps

Low-cost irrigation technologies for increasing incomes for smallholder farmers.

MoneyMaker offers a range of irrigation pumps tailored for small plots in sub-Saharan Africa. The MoneyMaker Hip provides water distribution of up to 40 liters per minute for plots up to 1.25 acres. The MoneyMaker Starter, weighing 3.0kg, pumps up to 30 liters per minute for 1-acre plots. For plots up to 2 acres, the MoneyMaker Max, operated by a 70kg operator, delivers up to 1.8 liters per second. These non-motorized pumps are compact, with the MoneyMaker Max at 16kg, the Hip Pump at 4.5kg, and the Starter Pump at 3.0kg. Designed by Kickstart International, the Starter Pump is a cost-effective solution for transitioning from rain-fed farming, offering a maximum flow rate of over 2200 liters per hour for diverse agricultural and domestic water needs.


This technology is pre-validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 9/9; level of use 7/9

Cost: $$$ 50—90 USD

Pumps cost

200—500 %

Farmer increases their farm produce


Open source / open access


  • Water Scarcity in Small Farms: Small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa struggle with water scarcity, affecting crop irrigation.
  • Manual Irrigation Challenges: Manual and labor-intensive irrigation methods, like bucket systems, pose efficiency and labor burden issues for small plots.
  • Financial Barriers to Technology Adoption: Smallholder farmers face financial constraints in adopting modern irrigation technologies, limiting their ability to shift from traditional practices.


  • MoneyMaker irrigation pumps offer an efficient and affordable solution to mitigate water scarcity by providing a reliable water source for small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • It replaces manual and labor-intensive irrigation methods, offering a more efficient and sustainable solution to ease the burden on farmers while optimizing the irrigation process.
  • It provides cost-effective irrigation solutions, such as the Starter Pump, enabling smallholder farmers to transition from traditional methods to more productive and sustainable irrigation practices.

Key points to design your business plan

The  low-cost irrigation pumps technology may be of interest to manufacturers, resellers and users (farmers).


Manufacturing low-cost irrigation pumps presents an opportunity to transform agricultural practices. To enter this market:

  • Identify reliable suppliers of raw materials required for pump production, ensuring quality and affordability.
  • Establish efficient transportation methods to deliver materials to the manufacturing site and to distribute the pumps to customers.
  • Evaluate expenses such as transportation costs, import duties, and taxes to accurately determine the total investment.

Identify potential customers, including resellers, cooperatives, agricultural associations, and development projects, to target sales efforts effectively.


Selling low-cost irrigation pumps can revolutionize agricultural efficiency and sustainability. To enter this market:

  • Source irrigation pumps from reputable manufacturers located in regions like Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, ensuring product quality and reliability.
  • Develop efficient transportation channels to deliver the pumps to farmers and agricultural communities.
  • Secure appropriate storage facilities to store the equipment securely and protect it from damage.
  • Calculate the cost of the technology, factoring in expenses such as transportation, import duties, and taxes, to determine pricing strategies.

Target potential customers, including individual farmers, agricultural cooperatives, development projects, and government initiatives, highlighting the benefits of adopting low-cost irrigation pumps for improved agricultural productivity and water management.


Utilizing low-cost irrigation pumps offers smallholder farmers an efficient and sustainable solution for crop irrigation. Key considerations for users include:

  • Partnering with sellers or managers experienced in handling mechanized farming equipment to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the pumps.
  • Understanding the cost of acquiring and operating irrigation pumps, with hand-operated pumps ranging from 50 to 90 USD depending on specifications.

By following these steps and considerations, stakeholders can effectively integrate low-cost irrigation pumps into agricultural practices, promoting efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in farming communities.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive high
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
It makes a big difference
Soil quality
It makes the soil healthier and more fertile
Water usage
It uses a lot less water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Angola Not tested Adopted
Burkina Faso Not tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Not tested Adopted
Ethiopia Not tested Adopted
Ghana Not tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Malawi Not tested Adopted
Mali Not tested Adopted
Mozambique Not tested Adopted
Nigeria Not tested Adopted
Rwanda Not tested Adopted
Senegal Not tested Adopted
South Sudan Not tested Adopted
Tanzania Not tested Adopted
Uganda Not tested Adopted
Zambia Not tested Adopted
Zimbabwe Not tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Goal 8: decent work and economic growth
Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action
Goal 13: climate action

  1. Operate by creating manuel suction and pressure alternately.
  2. Natural depth limitation of suction-pressure pumps, with an 8.5m suction limit and a similar amount as a pressure head.

Last updated on 30 April 2024