Clean energy is a critical component of sustainable development throughout the world. Clean energy technology not only improves the quality of life by reducing air and water pollution, but it also mitigates energy dependence by creating renewable resources in local communities. For agribusiness and production, it serves as an integrated alternative to reducing the inflated cost of irrigation farming and energy costs, especially in communities where the power supply is occasionally erratic. 

With climate change adaptation being at the core of the Trade Hub’s mandate, co-investment partners have continued to implement strategies to adopt renewable energy technologies throughout their activities to improve productivity and reduce energy costs.  

Through co-investment partnerships, the Trade Hub is working with over 60 private-sector partners— to increase climate-smart agricultural practices, reduce emissions and implement climate smart solutions through innovative and sustainable activities. This article highlights three co-investment partners using renewable clean energy and advancing best practices for climate change mitigation. 

Transforming Waste to Power

Awarded a $1.48 million co-investment grant in December 2020 to support WACOT Rice’s Argungu Rice Outgrower Expansion Project in Kebbi State, the company is working with farmers to produce paddy to be used at their rice mill with a production capacity of 360 MT/day and 120,000 MT/annum. WACOT Rice Limited (WACOT) has strategically positioned itself as one of the biggest rice producers in Nigeria. WACOT has one of the biggest rice processing factories in Northern Nigeria and uses captive power generation, an integrated renewable energy structure that allows WACOT to generate about 80 percent of its energy needs from the waste rice husks. This power generated by the captive generation source is used by WACOT to power its facilities and the machines used in the processing mill; the energy generated from burning the husks is utilized by the milling plant for all its activities.  Within its premises, the indiscriminate dumping of waste has been eliminated and, in its place, clean energy is being produced.  

Utilizing Solar Power to Save Energy Costs

Africa is home to 17 percent of the world’s population but accounts for only 4 percent of global power supply investment. It is estimated that only 58 percent of the continent’s population has access to electricity and two-thirds of Africa’s existing grids are considered unreliable. The inaccessibility and unreliable power supply continue to have a negative effect on production companies and hampers their ability to function at an optimal level. Inpharma Laboratories, a company that produces high-quality disinfectants, deployed solar panels to offset the high cost and improve the reliability of electricity at its factory in Cape Verde. With this alternative source of energy (which has a power production capacity of 103 kilowatts per hour) Inpharma is now operating at an optimal level without experiencing power outages.

Promoting Dry Season Farming with Solar-Powered Irrigation Pumps

Unpredictable rainfall and extreme weather conditions continue to hamper the growth and yield of agricultural produce in many African countries. The Trade Hub awarded La Banque Agricole SA a co-investment grant of $1 million to improve agricultural productivity and reduce the environmental footprint of Senegalese smallholders by increasing access to solar water pumping and irrigation technologies. With additional private investments of $5.55 million, La Banque Agricole is partnering with Nadji.Bi (a company specializing in the research, development, and industrial manufacturing of impact solar solutions for domestic and agricultural use), to provide solar-powered irrigation pumps to smallholder farmers and producers, in the Niayes and Senegal River Valley communities in Senegal. As of May 31, 2023, La Banque Agricole has installed 47 pumps (a value of $279,039).