The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have announced the launch of the ISA’s first program, Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use (SSAAU), in ten African ISA member countries: Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger, Republic of Sudan, Senegal, South Sudan, Togo, Tuvalu, and Uganda. The project will be carried out over the following two years, and ISA and UNDP have jointly secured $2 million in funding to support it.
This pilot programme will provide agricultural workers with enhanced energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution through new and innovative solar water pumping systems deployment models. Reportedly, the larger goal of the initiative is to help member countries devise and implement large-scale projects and schemes to induct solar pumping technology in agricultural practices. This will help agriculture-based communities curb their carbon emissions and enjoy cost efficiencies. The broad avenues of collaboration will include exploring localised and innovative deployment models, pilot demonstration, skilling programmes and trainings for technical staff to build local capacity, developing best practices documents and detailing learnings from demonstration projects.