Smart Energy Enterprise (SEE)

Providing affordable solar pump irrigation systems to smallholder farmers
2019 SEED Africa Award Sustainable Agriculture Karonga, Malawi

SEE provides innovative solar-powered irrigation systems to smallholder farmers on their own rice fields on a three-year loan basis recovered through water user fees and farm produce levies. SEE mobilises farmers into cooperatives who assume complete ownership over the irrigation systems after the loan is recovered.

SEE is responsible for installation and maintenance of the irrigation systems. SEE purchases additional rice from the farmers, processes it and sells it to end consumers.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Before its first investment round, SEE enabled 50 smallholder farmers to divert from motorized to solar pump irrigation technology, thereby contributing to lower fossil fuel consumption in rice cultivation.
  • Creating jobs for nine people including four women in processing of rice products for smallholder rice growers
  • Empowering women and youth by prominently involving Tughananeghe Women Federation and Karonga Youth Entrepreneurs in the business operations as advocates of those groups.
  • Enabling 50 smallholder farmers to divert from motorized irrigation to solar irrigation technology, thereby contributing to lower fossil fuel consumption in the Malawian agricultural sector
  • Implementing a waste management system to transform leftover rice husks and bran into environmentally-friendly briquettes
  • Completing a solar pump irrigation system to irrigate 20 ha piece of land and to produce 85 metric tons of rice per harvest
  • Increasing the income per capita by approximately 70% for smallholder farmers through the SEE business model



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Tughananeghe Women Federation mobilises farmers, specifically women, into groups for collectively purchasing irrigation systems and ensuring their affordability for farmers.

Karonga Youth Entrepreneurs collects rice husks and bran, which are residuals from rice processing, and produces recycled environmentally-friendly cooking briquettes.

Karonga district climate officers regularly consult with SEE in order to deliver information and to help updating the business plan

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Gift Mwangairo
Tel: +265991230943

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