Market potential for prepaid irrigation

About 42% of all rural piped water systems in Kenya become obsolete in less than 5 years. For irrigation systems that were built to benefit groups of small farmers this percentage is probably even much higher. The reasons for non-functionality are basically the same: difficulties with revenue collection, poor management and lack of transparency. This situation can be improved enormously using prepaid water meters. To this extent SNV Netherlands and Maji Milele partnered and hired an market research company to investigate the potential for prepaid irrigation. The conclusions of the external study were very positive and it was recommended to start piloting it and to see how it fits best within the Kenyan context. Maji Milele and SNV are now determining where to implement the first prepaid irrigation pilot project. While we anticipate challenges, we also see that climate change and food security are becoming bigger issues with time, making the potential for prepaid irrigation highly feasible.