A Message from the Coalition – April 2019

Augusta Abrahamse and Ku McMahan from USAID discuss Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge and Securing Water For Food: A Grand Challenge for Development.

Forty percent of the global population relies on agriculture as their main source of income; many of them are without energy access. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that by 2050 at least 60% more food will need to be produced on the same amount of agricultural land. Clean energy services can contribute to meeting this demand in a sustainable manner by intensifying agricultural production.

USAID has long recognized that access to efficient clean energy technologies can have transformational effects, enabling farmers to mechanize their operations, add value to commodities through processing, and store fresh produce in refrigerated containers to extend shelf-life. This in turn helps build a virtuous cycle where increased incomes improve farmers’ ability to afford capital-intensive energy inputs.

USAID and its partners support a wide range of programs that promote the development and distribution of efficient appliances and technologies to customers around the world. In addition to Scaling Off-Grid Energy and Power Africa, USAID-supported programs such as Powering Agriculture: an Energy Grand Challenge and Securing Water for Food, are supporting innovators to develop and scale a range of efficient technologies for agriculture. For this reason, USAID is very excited to be expanding its engagement with the Efficiency for Access (EforA) Coalition.

Since 2012, USAID with Sida, the Government of Germany, Duke Energy Corporation, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) managed the Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC). From solar water pumps and agro-processing to cold storage and mini-grids, Powering Agriculture uses a cross-sectoral nexus approach to concurrently focus on the energy and agricultural sectors while providing technical, business acceleration, financing, and policy support to its innovators and other stakeholders. We hope that you’ll check out the recently published Powering Agriculture FY2018 (Oct. 2017- Sept. 2018) Annual Report which highlights the latest work and impact of its Innovators operating in different technology areas.

Another key partnership that has produced advances in clean technologies is Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (SWFF). SWFF helps farmers around the world grow more food using less water, enhance water storage, and improve the use of saline water and soil to produce food by ensuring that the entrepreneurs and scientists behind groundbreaking new approaches are getting the support they need to apply and expand their solutions around the world. Since 2013, USAID, Sida, the Government of South Africa, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have invested $35 million and provided critical acceleration support to promote science and technology solutions that enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. Key appliance innovations we have supported include: Mimosatek, aQysta, and Green Heat.

One of the key benefits of the EforA Coalition is that members regularly come together to share priorities, map activities, and identify upcoming opportunities for co-funding. Through its participation in EforA, USAID is now better able to coordinate its work in supporting clean and efficient appliances across its broad set of programs and external partners.

Stay tuned to the EforA Newsletter for further updates from our coordination meeting and another brief from one of our partner organizations.

Augusta Abrahamse [USAID] Program Manager – Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge

Ku McMahan [USAID] Team Lead – Securing Water For Food: A Grand Challenge for Development