iDE Global


Through its social enterprise, iDEal Tecnologías, iDE improves farmers’ livelihoods by selling low-pressure irrigation systems and providing support on farming best practices.

Why we’re here—

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America, after Haiti. Half of the population lives in rural areas, and two-thirds of those struggle to survive on little more than a dollar a day. Rural farmers deal with water scarcity and typically depend on just a few crops, making them vulnerable to volatility in markets and climate. Inadequate infrastructure and the effects from past conflicts and natural disasters are obstacles to people trying to increase their incomes and improve their lives.

Taking Initiative

Doña Arlen Carolina Sanchez is driven to find solutions. When the rabbits ate her crops, she devised traps to catch them. When she was introduced to iDEal’s drip irrigation system, she saw an opportunity to replace cumbersome watering methods with efficient water-saving technology. Her initiative and ability to produce enough food for her 32 family members earned her respect and decision-making power among her family. Now, she is eager to expand her leadership into the community—sharing her farming knowledge with other female farmers.

iDE PC Nicaragua Arlen Carolina Sanchez

(Photo by Rachel Rose/iDE)

What we do—

Created with sketchtool.

Resilient Market Ecosystems

For developing world entrepreneurs to succeed they must participate in market ecosystems that are economically competitive, inclusive of all people, and resilient to shocks such as conflict or changing climates. By listening to every stakeholder—producers, suppliers, retailers and customers—we can overcome critical bottlenecks and develop lasting solutions. 

Learn more about iDE’s approach to resilient market ecosystems.

Plentiful plantains

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: A farmer makes the switch from flood to drip irrigation

Nicaragua is known for its lakes and rivers—water scarcity has not been a problem until now. The rains are coming less frequently, and weather patterns are less predictable. Farmers like Candelario are having to pivot their practices—making such changes as switching from traditional flood irrigation to water-saving drip irrigation.

Read more: ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: How Candelario Bojorge has expanded his plantain grove and reduced water use

How We Do It —


iDE founded iDEal Tecnologías as a social enterprise in Nicaragua with the purpose of helping small-scale farmers increase their incomes by providing access to low-pressure irrigation systems. In partnership with local manufacturers, all system components are produced locally. iDEal’s team of technicians trains farmers on the installation, use, and maintenance of the technology, as well as providing information about crop management.

Learn more about iDE's commitment to Agriculture.

Resilience to Climate Change

Nicaragua has seen average temperatures increase by 1.1 degrees Celsius between 1971 and 2010. Even small variations in temperature have severe effects on farmers’ ability to grow and harvest sufficient food.

iDE helps people in rural areas build their resilience to climate extremes like floods and drought through the use of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Smart Technologies.

Gender Equity

Women bear the burden of unpaid domestic work—carrying water, collecting firewood, and family health care.

By focusing on women as customers and entrepreneurs, iDE strengthens their participation in rural value chains and increases their access to technology, know-how, finance, and markets.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Gender Equity.


Low income combined with high relative food prices, contributes to a lack of overall calories in the diet of the majority of the population, as well as chronic deficiencies in protein, iron, and Vitamin A.

iDE empowers farmers to grow more varied and nutritious crops, so that people have a more complete diet, fueling them with the energy and mental ability they need to be successful.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Nutrition.

The business of impact

Market engagement unleashes multi-faceted benefits.

iDE has been building markets for over 30 years. One thing we know for sure is that every market is different. Replication of what works in one context is not a guarantee of success in another. We replicate our approach, but each context dictates a unique solution.

Read more: Approaches in private sector engagement, market facilitation, value chain development, and social enterprise creation get results


iDEal Tecnologías & Cía. Ltda.
Altamira III Etapa
Embajada de México 75 varas arriba
frente a la trenza
Apartamentos Mendieta #3

Phone: +505 2223-4300
Movistar: 00505-8384-5998
Claro: 00505-8510-3625

Our partners—


  • Church of Latter-Day Saints Charities
  • CODESPA Foundation
  • Embassy of Switzerland
  • Heifer Nicaragua
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Jain
  • Netafim
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership
  • Renewable World