Leveraging dozens of field visits spread over a year of extensive international research, Xylem's rural business credibly addresses a pointed understanding of local purchasing characteristics of smallholder farming activities. We've correlated these purchasing dynamics to local economic conditions to define specific application and product requirements.
Aggregating cross-geographical models to define an achievable and addressable customer base, we've repositioned and repurposed proven technologies to define the proper mix of capability, affordability, and serviceability.
In order to solve water at the base of the economic pyramid, we've conducted rigorous and thorough macro-level socio-economic mapping of rural water interactions. Rural innovation is a process. We need to think big, start small and move fast. So, we've developed a product roadmap that defines a rural journey of product innovation. The first of those products is our innovative "stepping pump."
Today, in many countries, small plot farmers are forced to spend half their work day carrying buckets of water from the water source to the fields. With the stepping pump, farmers simply operate a dual foot pedal – a motion similar to climbing stairs – to generate a strong flow of water through a hose and spray nozzle. While this is a purposefully simple product – with the minimal amount of removable parts and no need for special tools – it represents their first step toward farming mechanization and rural water management. Our stepping pump cuts irrigation times greatly, eases the physical burden on farmers and makes it easier for them to efficiently apply water. In turn, farmers are able to achieve higher yields and increased crop rotations (and resulting income).