Empowerment and Tech Adoption: Introducing the Treadle Pump Triggers Farmers’ Innovation in Eastern Ethiopia

Preprints.org
Shimelis BeyeneTsegaye Tadesse

Abstract

In 2013, thirty-eight treadle pumps (TPs) were installed as low-cost technology introduction for small-scale irrigation in eastern Ethiopia. This pilot project also trained six farmers on tube well excavation, installation and maintenance of pumps. In June 2015, researchers visited nine of the 38 TP villages, and found only two functional TPs. The rest were replaced with a new technology developed by the trained farmers. Adopters of the new technology stated that the limited water output and high labor demand of the conventional TP did not optimally fulfil their irrigation water requirements. The new technology had spread quickly to more than one hundred households due to three key factors. First, farmers’ innovative modifications of the initial excavation technique addressed the discharge limitations of the conventional TP by excavating boreholes with wider diameter. Second, local ownership of the new technology, including skills used in well drilling and manufacturing excavation implement, made the new irrigation technology affordable and accessible to the majority of households. Third, this innovation spread organically without any external support, confirming its sustainability. Farmers, empowered by training, gained more c...Continue Reading

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