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Agriculture & 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.

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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%.

Man W Solar Water Pump Photo By Arne Jacobson

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.

Rice Img 3418A Agsol

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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Related Updates

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Welcome to the first, quarterly Efficiency for Access Solar Water Pump Industry Bulletin! The purpose of these bulletins is to share information about specific activities undertaken through the Efficiency for Access Coalition that are relevant to solar water pump industry stakeholders. This first bulletin provides an overview of progress made on the priorities that were identified at the Solar Water Pumping Market Development Roundtable held in Nairobi earlier this year.

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2019 Global LEAP Awards

Global LEAP Launches Competitions for Solar Water Pumps and Off-Grid Refrigerators

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The LEIA team is partnering with industry players to support the uptake of energy efficient, off-grid agricultural appliances

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Solar Water Pumping: Global Market Development Roundtable Workshop Report May 2018

The Efficiency for Access Coalition hosted its first “Global Market Development Roundtable” in Nairobi, Kenya on 17-18 April 2018, bringing together over 40 industry leaders to discuss opportunities for advancing solar water pumping technologies markets.

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Global LEAP 2017 Off-Grid Appliance Market Survey

In partnership with UK aid, the United Nations Foundation, Power Africa, and many others, the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) is undertaking a series of research efforts to enhance global understanding of the off-grid appliance market and provide a framework for stakeholders to identify business opportunities and high-impact policy and programmatic interventions.

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Four near-to-market products (refrigerators, televisions, fans, and solar water pumps) and five cross-cutting horizon and enabling technologies (brushless DC motors, advanced electric cooking, advanced refrigeration technologies, interoperability & compatibility, and connectivity & internet of things) are identified and discussed in these Technology Summaries.

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