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FLOW

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Focus: 

FLOW dramatically reduces the cost of drip irrigation, liberating the poorest Burmese farmers from the backbreaking task of watering crops by hand. FLOW connects Proximity Design’s best-selling product– a treadle pump—to one of their newest products—a drip irrigation set, while pressurizing and regulating water flow. Designed using local materials and manufacturing practices, FLOW cuts the overall cost of drip irrigation by 50%, making mechanized irrigation accessible to thousands of farmers, even in the hardest-to-reach regions. For more information, contact: myanflow@gmail.com.

 

   

Big Idea: A low-cost way to liberate the very poorest Burmese farmers from the backbreaking task of watering crops by hand.

Project Launched: February 2012

Current Status: Project has been handed over to Proximity Designs to be launched as a new product offering in 2013.  The team remains engaged and is in discussions regarding providing additional support with Social E Lab funding during fall and winter 2012/2013.

Team: Jessica Dittmar, Andrew Evans, Nena Sanderson, Annie Scalmanini

The Challenge: Reducing the cost of Proximity Designs’ current drip irrigation system through eliminating the two components pressurizing the system, the 250-gallon water basket and its supporting bamboo stand, which are responsible for about half of the cost of the current drip irrigation system.

The Insight: Even though the current way to pressurize drip irrigation systems with an elevated water basket works, it is possible to successfully pressurize the system and regulate the water flow by connecting a treadle pump to a drip irrigation set by using a standpipe analog.

The Product:  FLOW dramatically reduces the cost of drip irrigation, liberating the poorest Burmese farmers from the backbreaking task of watering crops by hand. FLOW connects Proximity Design’s best-selling product, a treadle pump, to one of their newest products, a drip irrigation set, while pressurizing and regulating water flow. Designed using local materials and manufacturing practices, FLOW cuts the overall cost of drip irrigation by 50%, making mechanized irrigation accessible to thousands of farmers, even in the hardest-to-reach regions.

What’s Happening Now?

Proximity Designs plans to take the FLOW project forward after the start of the upcoming irrigation season in fall 2012. Depending on the outcome of Proximity’s product 2012-2013 prioritization, two different design options of the FLOW system will be tested in further prototype iterations on farms across Myanmar to get farmers feedback. After the irrigation season one of the two designs will be chosen by Proximity Designs to further develop the product throughout the first half of 2013, with possible opportunity for a project manager in Myanmar to oversee product development throughout spring 2013. Manufacturing is currently planned for summer 2013 with a targeted product launch for the irrigation season in fall/winter 2013/2014.

 Contact: Email: myanflow@gmail.com

 

Year:
2012