Fellahpro, the startup promoting solar energy in agriculture

It is in the city of Errachidia that an adept in the world of agriculture, Ismail Bouhamidi, a specialist in agricultural machinery, launched Fellahpro, a start-up that offers efficient solutions to support less intensive and optimized agricultural economic models in the face of irrigation and solar pumping problems. Its offer is aimed at professional farmers who own accumulation basins, farmers and agricultural cooperatives in the date palm and olive oil sector.

Since 2020, the year in which the young rebento was born, its commitment to the development of adapted solutions has not stopped. Its mission is to support the entire production cycle of the plant, from soil preparation, sowing, crop maintenance, prevention, identification and treatment of diseases, insects and weeds, to harvesting and storage, agricultural mechanics, etc. Specifically, the startup offers:

– Field support allowing, for example, to carry out feasibility studies, map farms, analyze soils and plants, detect and control weeds,

– the implementation of digital technological solutions, such as the web and mobile platform, which offers a space for discussion and advice to farmers in real time, provided by experts in agronomy on topics that affect the daily lives of farmers, such as soil preparation, plant care or harvesting Weather,

– the implementation of industrial technological solutions, such as innovative irrigation tools and customized floating solar pumping.

“On the one hand, we are helping small farmers to get rid of false expenditures on the fossil energy needed to power irrigation pumps and farm mechanization. On the other hand, we want to respond to the need for agricultural advice and support”, highlights Ismail Bouhamidi, who comes from a farming family for at least six generations in the Errachidia area.

Fellahpro plays the card of sustainable models

Faced with climate challenges that add to pollution and growing demography, the agricultural sector must go beyond traditional models, which are increasingly exhausted, and opt for sustainable models. In these wakes, the co-founder points out three major challenges related to irrigation:

1. The predominance of traditional irrigation tools and techniques: “the market is not yet mature. Innovative techniques such as drip irrigation have yet to penetrate most regions due to the lack of reliable business models for distribution and after-sales support”, believes the co-founder.

2. Insufficient energy to run irrigation systems and dependence on diesel: “In addition to being very polluting for the environment, most irrigation systems and water pumps require a high and constant fuel. For now, most water pumps run on diesel, which has an impact on the operation and operating costs, especially in a context of rising diesel prices”, warns Ismail Bouhamidi.

3. Inadequate groundwater management: “Most diesel-powered water pumps deplete groundwater more than necessary by pumping hard at short intervals. This threatens water resources that are being withdrawn faster than they can be replenished,” he warns.

These challenges are at the heart of Fellahpro’s mission, which offers green technologies such as solar water pumps adapted to small farms. Thus, the startup offers bespoke installations, equipped with a remote control system in the form of a mobile application.

“This customization allows the small producer to have access to a solution that meets their needs in terms of system size, dimensioning and accessibility”, highlights the entrepreneur who also does the administrative follow-up to obtain authorizations and grants.

The prospects for the development of solar pumping in Morocco are significant, especially in a context of drought. The size of the annual solar pumping market is estimated at between 75 and 100 million dollars, according to SFI, recalls the businessman.

Awareness and training, the agricultural sector’s Achilles heel

The economic viability of investments in green technologies and the establishment of efficient technologies depends on the farmer’s long-term vision and the information at his disposal. However, if the potential of green technologies is well established, awareness is still lacking.

“It is critical to educate farmers about efficient and sustainable management of water resources to improve productivity and reduce input costs, as well as developing their technical knowledge about green technologies, such as installation or ‘interview’,” says Ismail Bouhamidi

Leave a Comment