WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT SOLAR SOLUTIONS FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
Solar Village is a Norwegian company on a mission to improve African smallholder farmers' yields and standard of living. We develop, manufacture, distribute and finance smart solar energy solutions tailored to the needs and aspirations of smallholder farmers in Africa. Our main product is the Battery Stick™. In the field, the Battery Stick™ powers two attractive herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide sprayers of Micron, a leading manufacturer of specialist sprayers and weed control equipment for a wide range of applications. These sprayers (Handy and Ulva+) have been developed specifically for the African smallholder user and are safe and highly labour and water saving. At home, the Battery Stick™ is a power source for a range of desirable household appliances (e.g. lamps, TV and fan), popular among smallholder farmers living off-grid. Our standard Battery Stick™ kit consists of the Battery Stick™ with a built-in torch, a 10W solar panel, an LED lamp and 6 USB phone charge connectors. Additional available accessories are: LED TV, USB fan and mini speaker, which give farmers increased comfort in their homes. Solar Village is currently active in Zambia, working among others with two large agribusinesses, Alliance Ginneries and Parrogatewhich organise approximately 100,000 outgrower cotton farmers. ________________________________________________________________
BETTER YIELDS FOR YOUR FARMING - MORE COMFORT IN YOUR HOME
Solar Village was founded by Peter Legat in 2013, when Peter moved to Kabwe, Zambia with his family. He fell in love with the country and its people, and realized the immense opportunities that solar technologies can provide to smallholder farmers. Every year weeds, pest and crop diseases hugely decrease yields of African smallholder farmers, undermining their livelihoods and limiting their potential. When pesticides are sprayed, this is often done by using inefficient knapsack sprayers, which use more water and chemicals than needed and expose farmers to unnecessary risks. Water needed for the sprayers is often collected by women and girls far away from the fields. Pesticides are expensive and should be used effectively and in moderation to avoid waste and pollution. Many cheap sprayers are hand-powered but are inefficient and waste both water and chemicals. Other, more efficient sprayers, are powered by disposable batteries, but these are expensive and often get dumped on the ground.
Peter could not accept this unsafe and inefficient working environment for the smallholder farmers and came up with the idea: a solar Battery Stick™ which replaces the need for using costly, inconvenient, and non-environmentally friendly disposable batteries for the sprayers, and which, at the same time, solved the issue of limited access to electricity in households and the dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps farmers use to light their homes during the evening and night. Moreover, Peter's idea resolved the problem of phone charging. Mobile phones are essential for smallholder farmers, e.g. to get information about crops and market prices, but they must often cycle up to 20km to the nearest village to recharge them against a fee. Many farmers also dream about being able to have a TV in their home. However, normally, the major hurdle for them is that the energy solutions needed for the TV are too expensive, but with the Battery Stick™ farmers can make their dream come true. The Battery Stick™ is able to power a low-energy consumption LED TV for more than 5 hours when it is fully charged. Hence, the Battery Stick™ has become an essential solution for smallholder farmers to both get better crop yields and more comfort in their homes. _________________________________________________________________________