Increasing Access to Irrigation and Rural Agribusiness Sector Development in Africa

Prosper on Farms is a startup that is focused on increasing access to irrigation in Africa and making Africa self-sufficient in food production, particularly the production of staple cereals, without putting African farmers into debt.

At the moment, Prosper on Farms is targeting to put 200 000 hectares in Zimbabwe under irrigation by 2032, and to have directly impacted at least 200 000 farming households. Less than 10% of Zimbabwe’s irrigable land (2 million hectares, about 5 million acres) is under irrigation.

So far Prosper on Farms has an order book for irrigation development that is enough to produce over 100 000 tonnes of grain every year.

Currently, the target countries are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and Botswana. The target farmers are farmers of all scales and description, from gardeners to large-scale commercial farmers, who will be required to engage in commercial farming to support cost recovery.

Prosper on Farms seeks to partner, co-create, cooperate, or collaborate with other businesses, experts, and organizations to provide African farmers with a bundle of complementary services and products at the same time, beyond just access to irrigation.

That means when Prosper on Farms brings irrigation, either through a partner or on its own, it will also bring agricultural inputs, lighting, heating, roads, bridges, and more, preferably all provided by partners or in partnership with other businesses and organizations.

This is much more efficient, cheaper, faster, and has a smaller carbon footprint than each product or solution being brought to the farmers or farming communities individually by different businesses or organizations, one at a time.

Think donating millions of electric cars to Africans who don’t have anywhere to charge them. What good will those cars be? In such a case, it would be best to also provide charging stations where the cars can be charged.

Or think starting a national airline when the whole country does not have airports and nobody knows when one will be built.

In increasing access to irrigation in Zimbabwe, Prosper on Farms does not want to be another silo solution like a donor of laptops to hungry children.

Or a donor of books to children who can’t read and in communities where there are no teachers.

Or another for-profit donor-funded container-based solar-powered mini-grid provider in remote communities where there are no jobs.

Or another paygo solar lights vendor in communities that are more in need of clean drinking water.

Or give input loans to farmers who have no irrigation and therefore are totally vulnerable to extreme multi-year droughts which would lead them to go deeper into debt.

See these articles:

Laptops alone can’t bridge the digital divide

Outgrowing the Flower Pot: Why Just Selling Productive Equipment to Smallholder Farmers is Not Enough

Low Energy Consumption = Unprofitable Mini-Grids. Is Appliance Financing the Answer?

Prosper on Farms is taking a systems approach to solving lack of access to irrigation in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

For that reason, Prosper on Farms has issued this Request for Proposals inviting organizations and businesses that have expertise, programmes, products, and/or services that can be of use and/or benefit to African farmers to submit their proposals for partnership, cooperation, co-creation, or collaboration to serve African farmers and rural households.

This Request for Proposals is specifically for the country of Zimbabwe but you will have the option to choose to have it also considered for Zambia, Malawi, and Botswana.

You are only allowed to submit one proposal.


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