ISA, UNDP launch pilot projects on farmland solar in ten African member countries


International Solar Alliance (ISA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched pilot projects on scaling solar applications for agriculture use in ten African member countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger, Republic of Sudan, Senegal, South Sudan, Togo, Tuvalu, and Uganda. The programme will be implemented over the next two years, financially supported with the $2 million fund jointly secured by ISA and UNDP.

This pilot programme will provide agricultural workers with enhanced energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution through new and innovative solar water pumping systems deployment models. “The larger goal of the initiative is to help Member Countries devise and implement large-scale projects and schemes to induct solar pumping technology in agricultural practices. This will help agriculture-based communities curb their carbon emissions and enjoy cost efficiencies,” stated ISA.

Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA, remarked, “Solar energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in Africa. This initiative has the potential to become the epitome of South-South cooperation and demand aggregation employing ISA’s convening power.”

Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India, highlighted, “Agrifood systems account for 31% of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally. Expanding application of solar technologies in agriculture, especially in energy intensive areas like irrigation, will help reduce emissions while also enhancing farmer incomes. Through this partnership, ISA and UNDP will promote solar applications in agriculture across nine countries in Africa and Pacific islands.”

The broad avenues of collaboration will include exploring localised and innovative deployment models, pilot demonstration, skilling programmes and trainings for technical staff to build local capacity, developing best practices documents and detailing learnings from demonstration projects.

The International Solar Alliance is an international organisation with 114 member and signatory countries. It works with governments to improve energy access and security worldwide and promote solar power as a sustainable transition to a carbon-neutral future. ISA’s mission is to unlock US$ 1 trillion of investments in solar by 2030 while reducing the cost of the technology and its financing.

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