Affordable Agriculture Irrigation Systems

This solution addresses the inefficiency and human strain of watering crops manually in Myanmar for cost-constrained farmers

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Problem Description

Tools like advanced pumps and drip irrigation systems are a standard of modern farming practices. Compared to manually watering crops, they dramatically limit the amount of labor and effort. Despite many variations on these systems, they are frequently expensive and not well-designed for the needs of cost-constrained farmers in non-industrialized nations. With this challenge in mind, Proximity Designs (the owner of this solution) designs cheap, effective, durable, and easily reproducible irrigation products.

Building Blocks


Proximity was established in Myanmar in 2004 . It originally entered the Myanmar rural market with two treadle pumps, 13 staff and a distribution reach of just 600 villages. Now, eight years on, Proximity is accessible to nearly 80% of the rural population, employing a nationwide staff of over 350, and offering a complete range of services that address many of the most pressing needs of rural families.

From 2006 to present Proximity has released a suite of irrigation products that have the ability to immediately improve the lives of farmers. The products - which include four foot-powered water pumps, a complete drip irrigation system and two portable water storage tanks - replace the back-breaking and time-consuming work of hauling water from the well to the field. Designed to work independently, or together, a full set can cost a farmer just $71, but reduce time spent on farming to just a few minutes, and increase yield sizes by 33%. Products are united under the brand name Yetagon.

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. This solution covers the following goals:

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Social Progress Index

  • Personal Freedom and Choice (Agency) - Are people free of restrictions on their personal decisions?
  • Photos

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    Contributed By

    • Aung Ko Ko, Proximity

    Solution Stage

    One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
    Growing scaling and spreading6
    Strong leadership, management, implementation skills
    • Business or organisational growth
    • Franchising
    • Licensing
    • Legislation
    • Spreading ideas
    • Transferring practice
    • Fidelity assessments may be important
    • Strong capacity needed to ensure transfer of practice
    • Equity, loans, payment by results, social impact bonds
    Evidence derived from evaluations in multiple sites, and independently run randomised control trials
    Innovation or impact at scale

    Key Details

    Social Progress Index
    Personal Freedom and Choice (Agency)
    Sustainable Development Goals
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