Agriculture and Energy Efficiency

Increasing agricultural productivity enhances food and income security

40% of the global population rely on agriculture as a main source of income, many without energy access. Tending crops through time-intensive physical labor, their yields are inconsistent and weather-dependent compared to farmers with access to agricultural equipment.

Improving farm productivity has a direct impact on poverty alleviation: a 10% increase in agricultural productivity for smallhold farmers in Africa leads to a 7% reduction in poverty. It is also a key strategy for supporting the people most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Efficiency for Access aims to scale energy access for communities living in off- or weak-grid areas by supporting innovation in energy-efficient and off-grid appropriate agricultural technologies.

Cold Chain

Cold Chain

Essential for a sustainable agricultural sector, modern cold chain technology is still often out of reach in developing markets due its prohibitive cost and high load requirements. Cold chains manage the temperature of perishable goods from farm to table – maintaining quality and safety in the supply chain, reducing food loss, and enhancing income-generating opportunities.

Agricultural cold chains are crucial to developing markets and improving economic outcomes of agriculture-based economies. Establishing cold chains as extensive and reliable as those in industrialised countries would enable developing countries to raise food supply by 15%.

Solar Water Pumping

Solar Water Pumping

Irrigation is integral to agricultural productivity, but it is often considered to be expensive and energy intensive. Solar water pumps offer a viable alternative to electric irrigation pumps and a promising option for farmers living in off- or weak-grid areas. However, high up-front costs, variable operating environments, and lack of market intelligence to inform appropriate design considerations challenge the growth of this market.

Scaling the commercial market for solar water pumps will make modern irrigation more accessible and cost-effective, improving educational, nutritional, and economic outcomes. Solar water pumps also present a far-reaching opportunity to reduce the labor burden on women and girls who commonly shoulder agriculture and water-ferrying work in rural areas.

Solar Milling

Solar Milling

Without energy access, communities mill grains by hand – a time-consuming task typically performed by women and children. For those with purchasing power, the only off-grid option is diesel-powered mills – a polluting, energy inefficient technology that is not viable for sparsely populated and remote regions.

Smallhold farmers with fewer than five acres can increase their yield by 30% with just one piece of modern processing equipment, reducing physical burden while increasing productivity.

Recently developed solar mills offer a sustainable alternative, consuming far less energy than diesel mills, while increasing productivity, and proffering financial growth.

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