Notes to Broadcasters on treadle pumps and dry-season farming:

    | February 18, 2008

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    The treadle pump, or pedal pump, is a concept that was born in Bangladesh and quickly spread through Asia and Africa. The idea came from a report which found that motorized pumps and large wells were so costly that their operators became a veritable oligarchy of “water lords”. Pedal pumps came to the aid of poor, small-scale farmers. Made in small workshops with simple supplies, the pumps allowed farmers to water their crops themselves and thereby produce a second harvest during the dry season.

    But the treadle pump isn’t the only method of obtaining water for dry-season farming.
    You may wish to consult the DCFRN script “A Community Builds a Groundwater Dam to Solve its Water Problems” (Package 71, Script 7, June 2004), which describes another solution for small-scale farming.

    You may also wish to visit the following web resources related to the use of treadle pumps:

    -A video that demonstrates the use of a treadle pump on a farm in Malawi:

    -An audio recording of an expert from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization explaining the advantages of pedal pumps for small farmers (in French only):

    -An article that explains the economic, social, and environmental advantages of the treadle pump:

    -An article that describes an irrigation project to assist small-scale farmers in Zambia and Ethiopia: