SF portfolio partner SunCulture recently announced the launch of its latest generation of solar-powered irrigation tool, RainMaker2, with a new ‘Internet of Things (IoT) capability that will help to boost the productivity of the world’s 570 million smallholder farming families.
RainMaker2 offers more than double the amount of water than its predecessor and a longer lifetime of ten years, enabling farmers to lift water from rivers, wells, or boreholes up to 210 feet deep and increase their land under irrigation.
A further gamechanger is the SunCulture-trademarked ClimateSmart™, the powerful off-grid solar energy management system, an advanced lithium-ion battery pack with internet connectivity and predictive maintenance capabilities, powered by Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence.
When paired, RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart™ operates reliably during extended cloudy periods, enables pumping during the afternoon and evening for increased irrigation effectiveness, and drives high-pressure sprinkler irrigation systems directly without the need to install expensive water tanks.
By combining this technology with an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, wireless sensors, and advance machine learning algorithms, SunCulture is able to predict trends to optimise performance in real-time and offer affordable, easy-to-understand precision farming tools that were previously unimaginable for a smallholder farmer.
For example, SunCulture’s AgOptimised soil sensors and internet-connected weather stations allow the company to provide customers with weather forecasts and precision irrigation timing alerts by SMS, as well as alert farmers if they need to apply more fertiliser to their farm.
“Our vision is to build a world where people take control of their environment in rewarding, sustainable ways,” said Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.
“The AgOptimised IoT platform is a significant step towards that, representing the first time that these precision agriculture services are available to smallholder farmers in Africa, and we’re excited to be leading these innovations.”
SF has worked with SunCulture – who are also supported by DFID – since 2016 to develop and test its model and provided strategic input on distribution and partnership strategies. With these new product announcements we are excited to continue supporting the company as they expand operations into new markets and scale its impact.