Photo credit: Sunculture.


In the context of finding alternatives to fossil fuels and boosting low-carbon agricultural production, solar irrigation and water pumping have gained traction as a climate-smart options to improve food security, increase income, create jobs, and boost rural development. While solar irrigation and water pumping have reached technology and cost maturity, their roll out and uptake have been rather slow.

Several challenges need to be overcome to harness their full potential while leveraging private sector support to scale-up. This includes addressing end-user capital cost barriers and other affordability challenges, and identifying financing and business modalities that would ensure long-term sustainability of the projects.

In this event, participants from international organizations, universities, non-government organizations, and the private sector will discuss pathways to scale up affordable and clean irrigation and water access and provide country-specific and technology development insights. The speakers will focus on project design, implementation, technical quality assurance, and the role of data analytics.


Chair: Gabriela Elizondo Azuela, Practice Manager, ESMAP, World Bank

Moderator: Raluca Golumbeanu, TTL, Improving Livelihoods and Human Capital, ESMAP, World Bank

Welcome remarks

Gabriela Elizondo Azuela, Practice Manager, ESMAP, World Bank

5 min

Presentation 1:

Solar Water Pumping Program in Bangladesh

Farzana Rahman, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL)


5-7 min

Presentation 2:

Solar Irrigation Technology for Smallholder Farming

Samir Ibrahim, CEO & Co-Founder, SunCulture


5-7 min

Presentation 3:

Lessons learned for private-sector scale-up in Ethiopia, Ghana and Mali

Nicole Lefore, Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale, Texas A & M University


5 min

Presentation 4:

Solar Irrigation and Water Pumping Quality Assurance Framework

Michael Maina, Senior Associate, Research



5 min


Data Analytics: Agrodem model

Alexandros Korkovelos, GIS Specialist, World Bank

2-3 min

Panel discussion and Q&A



Moderated panel discussion and Q&A:

  1. What are key challenges in deploying quality solar irrigation and water pumping technologies at scale?

  2. Are there demonstrated business and financing models that can be leveraged by the private sector to reach scale?

  3. What is the role of development partners?

CONTACT: Juliette Besnard