Designing a sustainable business model for automated solar-PV drip irrigation for smallholders in Ghana

Simon Bolwig, Isaac Baidoo, Eric Oppong Danso, Francesco Rosati, Daniel Ninson, Sebastian Toft Hornum, Daniel Bruce Sarpong

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paperResearch

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Sustainable business model (SBM) research and practice has grown rapidly in the last two decades, not only showing the traits of an emerging research field, but also having an impact on business practices and government policies. Despite the wide-ranging academic and practical debates on SBMs, the academic literature still needs approaches specifically tailored to support the design of SBMs in developing countries, taking into account their characteristics, opportunities, and challenges. Our working paper aims to address these gaps in research and practice by proposing a framework supporting SBM design in developing countries. The SBM framework is composed of three main parts, i.e., value creation and delivery, value capture, and value proposition, and allows for an assessment of financial, economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits. It was applied to the case of small-scale irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically to a low-cost, automated solar-powered drip-irrigation technology, the ASPDI system, which was developed for small-scale vegetable farming in Ghana by an international research and innovation project. This research enabled a comprehensive ex-ante sustainability evaluation of the APSDI system and its associated business model in respect of its provision, covering the perspectives of technology providers, farmers, and society. The results of the evaluation highlight important issues related to the development, market diffusion, and farmer adoption of new small-scale irrigation technologies.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNEP DTU Partnership
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesWorking paper series 2020


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