Designing products that enable poor farmers to boost their income requires a commitment to ruthless affordability and, in many cases, simplicity that will make it possible for them to be manufactured locally. For example, a simple product such as the treadle pump — a foot-operated device that allows small-plot farmers to draw irrigation water from as deeply as 20 or 25 feet below the surface — can be produced at extremely low cost in most poor countries. Here, a shop in India machines parts for treadle pumps, which can be sold at a profit for $25 — including the cost of digging the well. A workshop like the one pictured here may require no more than $2,500 to set up.
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