SDGs | December 18, 2020

Solar irrigation subsidies aim to boost livelihoods for Togo’s smallholder farmers

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, December 18 – New energy infrastructure and technologies often require subsidies to gain traction. That’s true for rural electrification, solar technology, and now solar-powered irrigation.

Kenya-based SunCulture, a maker of affordable solar irrigation devices for smallholder farmers, is teaming up with off-grid solar provider BBOXX and French energy company EDF to make SunCulture’s products available to 5,000 farmers in Togo. The Togolese government will subsidize 50% of the cost to make solar irrigation technology more accessible.

SunCulture’s Samir Ibrahim called the partnership “catalytic in promoting off-season and higher-value agriculture across Togo” and could serve as a model for other African countries to “mobilize resources to address food crises, improve livelihoods, and spur economic development.”

The agreement builds on Togo’s solar subsidy program, launched last year, which offers BBOXX customers $4 per month for three years to cover the cost of home solar systems. Roughly 120,000 Togolese have been impacted by the program.