SunCulture, a Kenyan-based company for solar water pumps and irrigation solutions for small holder farmers, has closed an investment round with french EDF Group.
EDF joins SunCulture’s existing institutional investors, Energy Access Ventures and Partners Group.
“EDFs commitment to partnering with local companies to create lasting impact represents an important shift in the way multinationals are doing business in Africa. We’re excited about this partnership, which gives us the opportunity to work with EDF to increase rural household productivity across the continent,” said Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.
SunCulture is opening up the East African market for EDF to expand the impact of its off-grid solutions across the continent. SunCulture’s understanding of smallholder farmers’ needs will provide data for EDF to develop its off-grid offering into the agriculture space. EDF is already selling off-grid household technologies in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal.
Four out of five African families depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but just 4 percent use irrigation, with the rest relying on increasingly unreliable rainfall. Although switching to irrigated agriculture increases yields by 90 percent when compared to nearby rain-fed farms, high diesel costs make irrigation an unaffordable expense for many small farmers. With 620 million Africans lacking a connection to the electricity grid, mains-connected electric water pumps are also not a viable option.
Andrew Reicher, SunCulture’s Board Chair, adds: “EDF’s investment will finance SunCulture’s plans to scale up and reach millions of customers by continent-wide distribution and introducing credit. EDF brings much more than just money, though. A shared philosophy and commitment to work closely and cooperatively together, access to deep knowhow within EDF, and the opening to us of their extensive contact network, will all significantly increase the probability of success for SunCulture.”
Source: Press release SunCulture