Off-grid solar use

SunCulture offers productive off-grid solar use for smallholder farmers. Its flagship products are high-quality yet affordable solar irrigation pumps that can pump water from as deep as 100 meters to use for crop irrigation and livestock rearing, as well as domestic uses. Through SunCulture’s Pay-As-You-Grow facility, it becomes easier for farmers to purchase SunCulture’s products through an innovative leasing scheme.


The syndicated debt facility is groundbreaking for the ‘productive use’ solar sector due to its size and its innovative combination of working capital and end-user financing. This will enable SunCulture to scale up renewable energy installations at smallholder farms and households, which will mitigate over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 annually as farmers replace diesel pumps with solar ones whilst facilitating income growth and job opportunities in rural communities.

A report developed by Dalberg Research shows that irrigations systems and solar-powered pumps can increase farmers’ production between two and four times, and their income between two and six times.

Sjoerd Melsert, Senior Investment Manager: “SunCulture is a great example of an innovative company that is active on the nexus of renewable energy and agriculture, using solar energy to increase farmers’ incomes. This facility supports the further growth of SunCulture’s Pay-As-You-Grow solar portfolio, leading to a more sustainable and higher production for smallholder farmers. This makes SunCulture a very strong fit with the mission, ambition and activities of Hivos-Triodos Fonds.

Group of investors

Other investors are SunFunder (lead arranger) through its Solar Energy Transformation Fund, Nordic Development Fund, AlphaMundi through both its SocialAlpha and AlphaJiri Investment Funds, and the AfDB’s FEI OGEF managed by Lion’s Head.

Read the full press release.