Irrigation substantially increases agricultural productivity, although less than five per cent of Sub-Sahara Africa’s cropland is in fact irrigated. The Powering Agriculture venture publishes the quarterly online newsletter “Solar Pumping & Irrigation”, in order to provide a platform for the debate on solar irrigation while also taking a look at the pros and cons of the technology.
The Newsletter is published in the context of the online-accessible and Excel-based “Toolbox on Solar Pumping & Irrigation Systems (SPIS)”. The Toolbox was compiled as a joint effort by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the global initiative Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC). The aim of the initiative is to support the development and dissemination of marketable approaches to employ climate-friendly energy technologies in agriculture and emerging economies. Companies, universities and non-governmental organisations are selected and awarded direct subsidies. PAEGC is currently supporting 24 projects.
The Newsletter presents the latest developments and research in the field of solar irrigation and publishes contributions from organisations and companies working in the field of solar pumps and irrigation. It also provides details of forthcoming training programmes, workshops and conferences focusing on the topic.
The Toolbox on Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) developed by GIZ Powering Agriculture and FAO is now also provided in Spanish and French. The French and Spanish Toolbox version contains training material and case studies from Chile and Cameroon as well.
The Toolbox was developed for consultants, service providers and practitioners in the field of solar irrigation in order to offer comprehensive practical instructions for end-users, political decision-makers and financiers. It includes informative modules supplemented by user-friendly Excel-based tools (spread-sheets, checklists, guidelines). The Spanish and French translations enable the Toolbox to be used in more regions.
Janna Schneider, GIZ GmbH, Bonn, Germany
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