In Kenya, agriculture accounts for 70% of employment, yet the country suffers from lack of irrigation as most farmers have only limited access to efficient and low-cost hydro-technology. And the effects of climate change have only exacerbated the challenge of water access with continued drought and increasingly erratic weather patterns.
Seeing this issue, Samir Ibrahim founded SunCulture, as a “one-stop shop” for smallholder farmers, uprooting himself from New York and moving to Kenya 10 years ago to make it happen.
SunCulture develops and commercializes life-changing technology to solve the biggest daily challenges for the world’s 570 million farming households. The company combines the cost efficiency of solar power with the labor and water efficiency of drip irrigation. This technology pumps water delivered directly to crop roots.
Establishing relationships with farmers is paramount for Ibrahim. SunCulture uses financial services and carbon revenues to make the cost of solar irrigation 50% cheaper than that of diesel and petrol, and they layer that with an embedded data science platform to help farmers make better decisions and open them up to the agriculture value chain.
To date, SunCulture has been:
- Improving the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa by increasing incomes by up to 5 times
- Addressing Africa’s food insecurity with 75% of farmers realizing higher production without planting additional land
- Driving climate action by displacing dirty fuel pumps and reducing GHG emissions
Contributing to 13 of the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals, SunCulture creates new job opportunities, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, provides increased access to more nutritious food and clean water, creates opportunities for higher pay for women and helps build more resilient farming communities.
SunCulture is the largest distributor of solar water pumps and solar irrigation for smallholder farmers in Africa and was selected by Fast Company as one of the world’s leading emerging market climate-tech solutions in 2021. The company was also named a winner of the inaugural Morgan Stanley Sustainable Solutions Award and Collaborative. Prior to SunCulture, Samir studied finance and international business at NYU’s Undergraduate Stern School of Business and joined PwC’s Financial Services, Structured Products, and Real Estate Group. Samir is recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30, Top Conscious Business Leader by Conscious Company Media, and a World Energy Council Future Energy Leader alumnus.