Skoll Foundation


International Development Enterprises (India)

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Amitabha Sadangi
Award Year: 2005
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Smallholder Productivity and Food Security

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Amitabha Sadangi is the architect of International Development Enterprises India’s (IDE-India) “market creation” approach to development, focused on sustainable local industries producing and selling irrigation technologies that even the poorest farmers can afford. He has directed IDE (India) since it became independent of its international parent organization. Every product is designed to produce a net return on investment more than 100% of the purchase price every year, allowing farmers to move up the ladder of development.


  • Together, IDE-India’s treadle pump and drip system are being used by more than 1.25 million smallholder farmer households, benefitting 6 million people in 15,000 villages and 15 states across India. These farmers make an additional $500 every year, with cumulative farmer earnings of $1.3 billion over 15 years.
  • This change in financial situations has far-reaching impacts on the lives of these farmers, including, among other benefits, increased access to education for their children and improved nutritional intake.
  • The use of manually operated treadle pumps results in reducing dependence on expensive fossil fuels and leads to significant reduction of carbon emissions. A recent TERI study calculated that each treadle pump offsets almost half a ton of CO2 emissions from diesel pumps. With the promotion of more than 800,000 treadle pumps, more than 602 million liters of diesel ($538 million) has been saved and 2.56 million tons ($18 million) CO2 Equivalent offset saved.
  • In addition to generating money, promotion of technologies also help the supply chain, such as manufacturers, dealers and the village based mechanics. From manufacturing to selling to installation of technologies, employment is generated at each level. To date, more than 560 million days of employment have been generated on the farm and over 1.6 million days of employment were generated in the supply chain.



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