Ethiopia: Govt Intensifying Efforts to Expand Solar Water Pump for Irrigation Development

Addis Ababa — The government of Ethiopia has been exerting efforts to expand solar water pumps for irrigation development in an effort to raise the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in the country, according to Ministry of Water and Energy.

Panel discussion held today under the title “The Benefit of Business Case Approach for Sustainable Promotion of Solar Water Pump Irrigation System.”

The panel was organized by SNV- Sustainable Energy for Smallholder Farmers and the Ethiopian Solar Energy Development Association.

Speaking at the occasion, Rural Energy Technology Development CEO at the Ministry of Water and Energy, Berhanu Woldu said the government has embarked on developing solar and other renewable energy resources, as enshrined in a range of policies, laws and regulations.

The government has been also using pollution free technologies to increase the productivity of farmers and improve their standard of living.

Currently, more than 300 MINI-GRID system stations being built across the country to enhance supply of electric power in the government’s efforts to promote and expand the importance of solar pumps for irrigation to improve production and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in collaboration with various partners, he added.

Moreover, he added that the government has been striving to make 65 percent of the society benefit from electricity services from the main grid and 35 percent from alternative energy sources.

Netherlands Development Organization (SNV)- Sustainable Energy for Smallholder Farmers Project Manager Hiwote Teshome said the organization is working to make solar energy technology accessible to the farmers.

She mentioned that the SNV Sustainable Energy for Smallholder Farmers Project aims at integrating renewable energy into the value chains of dairy and horticulture by means of scalable technologies and services for irrigation, coding, and drying.

The project focuses on identifying and piloting scalable, innovative business cases for small-holder farmers and related local businesses.

In addition, smallholder farmers, agri- businesses and solar enterprises are receiving access to solar energy solutions and technological know-how, improving their livelihoods, and increasing their resilience to climate change, she added.

Currently the project has been implementing in Oromia, Amhara, Sidama and Central Ethiopia regions.

Ethiopian Solar Energy Development Association, General Manager Tewabech Workie said that solar energy is a great alternative to overcome the lack of energy especially in rural areas.

Hence, the association works to link farmers who lack access to financing with banks and microfinance institutions to help them obtain loans.