In Nigeria 70% of unemployment rate is cause by lack of electricity as over 70% of the population rely on electricity to do their business effectively, especially in the rural areas, and is key to the country’s growth and poverty reduction. However, dependence on rains and lack of sustainable irrigation system are holding back productivity and profitability and hence affecting food security. Currently, farmers depend on expensive diesel and petrol water pumps for irrigation, often the fuel price are hiked in the local market and the farmers have to pay more than the government approved fuel price. More so is the high carbon emission currently being emitted by the fossil powered pumps.
The main goal of the solar irrigation initiative is to work with partners and stakeholders in various farming initiatives in Nigeria, especially in rice production to promote the use of solar powered pumps in an irrigation scheme across the country, thereby reducing the current high cost of irrigation and guarantee all-year crop production and hence improve food security of the country.
The solution will provide reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable energy for decentralized irrigation services, thereby leads to improved yields, reduces vulnerability to changing rainfall patterns as climate change effects bite harder.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE PROJECT
We expect the initiative to improve the quality of life of the farmers as they will have more spare time for other productive purposes, increase their crop yield as a result of adequate water access, enhanced crop resilience and food security, and increase their income based on the reduction in the cost of irrigation system, while the initiative would help government reduce fuel imports, reduced spending on fuel subsidies, increase agricultural economic output, and help meet the Nigeria’s obligation to emissions reduction. Furthermore, the initiative would help stimulate socio-economic development in the agriculture sector helping to fight against poverty, improved livelihoods of the farmers and increased social welfare.