Letter from Our CEO

Martin Fisher, Co-Founder & CEO

Martin Fisher, Co-Founder & CEO

Dear Friends,

KickStart’s impacts continued to grow in FY14 and with your dedicated support, a total of over 800,000 people have now lifted themselves out of poverty using KickStart’s irrigation technologies! That’s equivalent to the population of the city of San Francisco.

While we are proud of the progress, the truth is, we have only scratched the surface. Africa’s population today is 1 billion people, but experts say it will grow to 4 billion by 2100. Already, the continent cannot feed itself; 30% of people go to bed hungry at night and half the population lives below the poverty line.

30% of people go to bed hungry at night and half the population lives below the poverty line. However, with irrigation, all of this could change.

However, with irrigation, all of this could change. Farmers who irrigate grow multiple crop cycles per year, get high yields and can harvest their crops in the long dry “hungry” seasons when food is scarce and prices are high. Today only 4% of Africa’s farmland is irrigated, but some 20 to 25 million smallholder farmers across the continent have access to a shallow water source on their farms. They could use MoneyMaker pumps to irrigate and sell enough crops to feed their family, start a business selling the surplus crops for profit, afford to send their children to school, lift their families out of poverty, control their destinies and feed the continent.

We now need to educate millions of additional farmers about the power of irrigation and greatly increase our impacts across Africa. This year, we made good progress scaling our work in Zambia and Southern Africa with funding from the IKEA Foundation, but much more still needs to be done. We have learned a lot about what works, and this year we put in place a streamlined staffing structure, new ways of working and made progress on new technological and financing innovations that will enable us to launch an ambitious plan next year.

Looking back at FY14, we are proud of our increased impacts and geographic reach. We enabled 65,000 more people to climb out of poverty in the past year alone, and have prepared the organization for more cost-effective growth going forward. Without the support of all our donors and partners, none of this would have been possible.

Thank you all so much!

Best wishes,

Martin Fisher