Ignite Power

Ignite Power brings solar-based life-enabling solutions to the poorest communities of sub-Saharan Africa, including many in Rwanda. Founded in 2014, Ignite focuses on bottom-of-the-pyramid communities, consisting mostly of small-holder farmers and their families, providing them with clean, green energy solutions to their everyday needs, including solar home systems, solar irrigation pumps, and much more.

The company’s main goal is extreme affordability, as it strives to reach everyone, everywhere, no matter their location or financial means.

Over 1.7 million people have already directly benefited from Ignite’s products, and millions more are set to join in the coming years.

In its work providing solar irrigation pumps, the company is catering to a dire need for higher productivity in Africa’s agriculture, the continent’s largest sector, which is responsible for more than 23% of GDP and 68% of employment. Yet only 6% of arable lands are adequately irrigated, leading to extremely high inefficiency, low crops, low income, and food insecurity for hundreds of millions.

Current irrigation methods include rainwater and expensive, highly polluting diesel pumps. Ignite’s solar-based irrigation systems allow farmers to tap into their lands more efficiently, increasing yields by up to 300%, harvesting seasons by up to 50%.
Solar pumps helped Joseph increase his crops

Joseph Mains, 45, from Rwamagana, Rwanda, manages a farm of 20 hectares. He grows butternut, chili, onions, okra, pineapple, bananas, papayas, and passion fruit.

“Before solar, we used diesel, and now with the solar system, it is much more efficient. No servicing, no fuel, the system is automatic, which means less workforce.”

Joseph is now able to pump throughout the day (with the diesel, he had to stop after two hours). Productivity has grown by 70%.

Said saves on irrigation

Raouf Said from Gitaraga, Rwanda, has 45 hectares of land where he and his family grow many vegetables, sell them in the local market, and consume them in their home. In February, he bought two solar irrigation pumps. Since then, he reports his crops grew 50%.

“I am very happy with the pumps,” he says. “It allows us much flexibility due to the mobility, and the low price means I now spend much less than I used to spend on my diesel pumps.”