Bengaluru/New Delhi (Karnataka) [India] : Four years after Sweden’s Greentech start-up Spowdi was handpicked for the India-Sweden Innovations Accelerator program, its zero-emission irrigation solution has found resonance with farmers, says Business Sweden.
“We saw much merit in bringing Spowdi’s innovation to India,” said Pawan Tahlani, Head of Sustainability (India) at Business Sweden. “When we heard about Spowdi’s solar-powered mobile irrigation pumps, we knew the innovation was a right fit to empower small-hold farmers in India,” he added. His statement comes just days after COP26, where India announced its aim to enhance its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW and to achieve 50% of its energy requirements with renewable energy by 2030.
* Tested in Indian conditions: Tested across multiple Indian terrains
* Zero diesel usage. Relies on the sun as its only energy source.
* Zero CO2 emissions: Compared to diesel pumps or other fossil fuel energy pumps used to irrigate small-hold farms.
* Efficient use of water for irrigation: Mitigates water wastage & flooding of fields for irrigation.
* Enables better livelihoods: Spowdi’s mission is to enable farmers to diversify and increase their yields, thereby becoming more profitable.
* Climate Positive – Contributes to Climate action and Net Zero initiatives
* ‘Make in India’ commitment: Spowdi has established a joint venture in Bengaluru.
India has approximately 125 million small-hold farmer families who own one acre of land or less. With an erratic electricity supply and the increasing diesel costs, farmers often flood their fields at one go, which results in massive water wastage. Experts say that these practices have led to inefficient use of groundwater, adding to India’s water crisis. Further, there are deep concerns over carbon emissions released from fossil fuels and their impact on the health and wellbeing of local farming communities. Fossil fuel driven agriculture also impacts India’s commitment towards achieving net-zero.
Since Spowdi’s inception in India, its key mission has been to create clean and sustainable solutions that enable small-hold farmers to build a more resilient food production system. Industry experts, including Business Sweden, feel that Spowdi’s solar-powered micro-irrigation system could address the most pressing challenges faced by India’s small-hold farmers.
Spowdi’s mantra is Seeing Is Believing – A Smart Farm with Zero Emissions
Apart from their easy-to-use irrigation technology, Spowdi’s success and acceptance among the farming community lays in their underlying goal of contributing towards climate action, a cleaner environment and enabling better livelihoods.
“Spowdi has been very open to testing their solution in the most demanding farm conditions in India. Their ‘seeing is believing’ approach has benefitted them in gaining traction and trust from a multitude of stakeholders, from industry and CSRs to distributors and farmers themselves,” says Pawan Tahlani of Business Sweden.
In 2019, after months of extensive testing of Spowdi’s technology under extreme weather conditions across India, Spowdi created ‘The Spowdi Smart Farming’ concept with its first Smart Farming R & D facility on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The one-acre demo farm uses drip irrigation powered by Spowdi’s Mobile Pro system. The irrigation system is entirely solar-powered, with no diesel requirement, resulting in zero carbon emissions.
Video link: Spowdi Smart Farm, Bengaluru
Most significantly, the demo farm is a live example of how small-hold farmers can increase and diversify their yields on existing cropped lands and reduce significant amount of water used, compared to flooding in a similar-sized farm. This reduced cost of irrigation can help save money and make them more profitable, thus helping contribute to a better quality of life for millions of small-hold farmers.
Spowdi’s ‘Make in India’ Commitment
As part of its commitment to ‘Make in India’, Spowdi has established a joint venture for an assembly factory with Emmvee Spowdi Private Limited on their outskirts of Bengaluru. “We are excited to contribute to India’s vision towards Net-Zero and are now scaling-up our product in the Indian market,” says Henrik Johansson, Founder and CEO at Spowdi AB.