SHAMBA FORTUNE: How Solar Pumps Led to Profit Maximization

TAMFI members engaged in renewable energy projects, had an opportunity to visit Shamba-fortune which is a Tomato and Sweetcorn irrigation farming project run by Mr & Mrs Lukamaja at Mwalusembe – Mkuranga in Coastal region of Tanzania.

The Shamba-fortune project started early in 2017. Due to unreliable rains in the area, the only viable option the owners of Shamba-fortune was to devise an irrigation mechanism by using underground water. To do this, water had to be pumped from the ground to the storage tanks ready for irrigation.The challenge was that the area had no electricity through which the water pumps could operate. Thus the only option was the usage of a  petrol pump. The use of petrol per week ranged from 120 litres up to 180 litres which was too costly and drained all the profits obtained from selling their crops.

In seeking ways to decrease operating costs, Shamba-fortune decided to make use of  solar pumps. In the current setting, the use of solar pumps has proven to be a cost effective method and has brought great relief in operation costs and hence increase in profits. Shamba fortune has scaled up operations by increasing the area cultivated due to the application of solar pumps. The farm is divided in what is known as block, which is a piece of land of approximately one acre or so. Shamba-fortune has expanded from one block to five blocks. By increasing the number of blocks, Shamba-fortune can now plant crops in such a way that they can harvest weekly. And as a result they are able to maintain a stable and consistent supply of products in the market.

Shamba-fortune are very proud to say that the use of solar energy has made them plan for reaching greater heights. They are currently planning to increase production areas so that they are able to meet the market demand. As of now, they cannot meet the market demand .

TAMFI members appreciated the work done by Shamba-fortune and concluded farming business by using solar water pumps is viable and worth extending a loan.