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Khethworks creates new technology and products for smallholder farmers. We are building alternatives to dependence on inconsistent monsoon rains and costly fuel pumping. We enable year-round irrigation, cultivation, and income generation for smallholder farmers by developing and implementing affordable and reliable solar-powered pumps designed specifically for and with farmers who tend to an acre or so of land.

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With the goal to reduce poverty while also reducing CO2 emissions and improving food security, Khethworks provides assets for small-plot farmers to earn more disposable income through new income generation, cost-savings, high-value crop cultivation, and increased productivity.

The opportunity

There are over 26 million farmers who tend to an acre or less of land in east India, where 60 percent of renewable groundwater is unused and agriculture-grade electricity is patchy. With increasing fuel prices and decreasing availability, farmers are choosing not to cultivate for the summer season, when crops need the most water but when market returns for the harvests are at their highest. In a country that will soon be the most populous on Earth, the opportunity is great and the need dire for agricultural productivity to increase. Viable irrigation options for 85 percent of Indian farmers – the small-plot farmers – are key. 

Our approach

At Khethworks, our focus and approach is centered on serving smallholder farmers. We have spoken with hundreds of farmers and farmer-facing NGOs across east and northeast India to understand needs and gaps in the irrigation market. With user insights, we have identified powerful performance points for our MIT-developed technology. Iterating with pilot farmers across customer segments and use cases, we have innovated on product usability to minimize behavior change and make adoption convenient. We are only successful when farmers succeed, so we work to fill the voids in the smallholder value chain beyond irrigation so that our customers can grow more, earn more, and provide more for their families and communities.

The product

Our patented technology has allowed us to deliver a submersible centrifugal solar-powered irrigation pump with market-leading efficiency and farmer-demanded portability, price, and performance. The Khethworks systems enables farmers with an acre or so cultivate year-round using existing irrigation methods and infrastructure--drip is not required but can be added to increase cropping area and water efficiency. Single-switch, automatic operation and no installation means anyone, both men and women, can easily use the pump. The portability enables farmers to use the Khethworks solar pump when and where they want, to store it safely at night, and to share ownership or rent it out to neighbors for additional income.

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