Solar-powered drip irrigation is the marriage of two systems that have been shown to have an enormous independent impact, but have rarely been used together in a well-documented fashion. Drip irrigation is an extremely efficient mechanism for delivering water (and fertilizer) directly to the roots of plants. It increases yields and allows for introduction of new (potentially high-value) crops in regions where they could not be sustained by rainfall alone. Solar-powered (photovoltaic or PV) pumps save potentially hours of labor daily in rural off-grid areas where water hauling is traditionally done by hand by women and young girls.
They are durable and immune to fuel shortages and in the medium- to long- term cost less than traditional diesel-powered generators.
When used in tandem, these technologies allow for production of market garden vegetables during the dry season, providing a much-needed source of both income and nutrition.