IDEI won an Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2009.

The Farmers Friend, a simple treadle pump developed by IDEI, is changing the lives of poor farmers in Eastern India. The low-cost device, used for pumping water for irrigation, has trebled farmers incomes so they can now save and send their children to school. Three quarters of a million pumps have been sold, with sales boosted by promotion campaigns using Bollywood-style films. IDEI is scaling up production fast aiming to sell up to two million treadle pumps by 2010.

IDEI has been marketing treadle pumps to farmers in India since 1991. It was initially part of IDE-International, but was legally registered as an Indian not-for-profit body in 2001 and is now an independent organisation. By 2009 it had 185 employees, 300 business associates, and an annual turnover of US$5 million. IDEI’s central office of 25 staff manages the treadle pump programme, assisted by three regional offices and several area offices.

Winning their first Ashden Award in 2006 greatly raised the profile of IDEI, and a number of significant developments followed, including a US$27 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for technology dissemination. The Acumen Fund has also invested US$1 million in Global Easy Water Products, a company set up by IDEI Employees Trust, to sell micro-irrigation products internationally. In 2009, IDEI received US$300,000 of carbon finance from selling verified emission reductions for the treadle pumps through the carbon finance company JPMorgan ClimateCare.

Find out more about IDEI here.