Friday, March 05, 2010

Bright Ideas Shining Down on Benin

With the help of a team from Stanford University in the US many villages within the country of Benin and Sub-Saharan Africa have benefited from the use of solar-powered irrigation systems.

The typical rainy season in the country of Benin is only 3-6 months out of the year. Such conditions make agricultural farming difficult for families within the region. As compared to traditional hand irrigation, the solar-powered pumps are able to extract water from deep within the ground and deliver it to farmers within arid villages.

The researchers from Stanford have installed these pumps in two villages and have already seen increases in the growth of vegetables. The study has shown that while families are better able to meet their nutritional needs, there is still excess to be consumed and families are often able to Take this into their local markets to be sold.

Scientists have concluded that the "solar-powered drip irrigation can provide substantial economic, nutritional and environmental benefits."

- Tiffanie Depew

SOURCE: Africa Good News