iDE Global

Climate-Smart Products

Technology that boosts profits and is good for the environment

Solar water pumps. Micro-irrigation lines. Rainwater harvesting. Greenhouse tunnels. Vegetable dehydrators. For more than 40 years, iDE has helped develop and promote technologies that assist people generate higher incomes. As the climate changes, these resource-smart technologies have become increasingly important.

Greenhouses (including large scale ones like Nalito’s as well as smaller, mini-tunnels) help farmers increase their production by enabling five harvests per year (versus three) for high-value crops like lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes. Photo by Alice Lee, 2018

For example, farmers who live in drought-stricken areas have benefited from micro-irrigation or drip technology which delivers water directly to root systems. Because drip irrigation works as an enclosed system it limits evaporation and reduces water usage by 30-40 percent compared to, say, furrow irrigation, which uses trenches or “furrows” dug between crop rows to distribute water. Drip irrigation can also improve soil health, reduce erosion and salinity, and increase productivity. 

In Nepal we reached more than 20,000 climate-vulnerable households, promoting technology, innovations, and practices such as integrated pest management, essential oil distillation and greenhouse vegetable cultivation. The program enhanced resilience, helped develop value chains and increased incomes. 

But while it is important to make climate-smart technology available, other key activities are required to make these products and programs successful: such as awareness raising on availability and cost-to-benefit potential; training on proper use like putting water filters in micro-irrigation lines; availability of maintenance and repair and knowhow when it comes to selling additional crops harvested outside of main seasons. 

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As a community business facilitator (CBF), Rupa Thapa markets agricultural inputs in rural Nepal. She was trained by iDE and now works with some 600 farmers, receiving a commission from agro dealers when she sells items including pest management technologies, drip irrigation and seeds. After the 2015 earthquake she worked with iDE to assist impacted households resume agricultural work. In recent years, Thapa has reached remote farmers with climate smart information using text messages. iDE has worked with researchers from Virginia Tech to provide CFBs like Thapa with information on pest control, the weather and local market prices for fruits and vegetables, which they then share with farmers through SMS.

iDE PC NEP Rupa Thapa 3X2

Rupa Thapa, Nepal

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Climate & Resilience Training and Natural Resource Management

How to best steward our natural resources now and for the future

By managing our natural resources more effectively, through training on best practices, we are able to run projects sustainably and stay within environmental limits. 

Read more: Powering farmers to become resilient to climate change