EnDev and the IKEA Foundation launch renewables project at Vienna Energy Forum to support smallholder farmers

EnDev is launching a renewables project in partnership with the IKEA Foundation on 6 July at the Vienna Energy Forum. This three-year project aims to empower the agricultural sector by working closely with smallholder farmers, agri-businesses and solar enterprises in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

The IKEA Foundation has provided an €8 million grant to support EnDev’s efforts to demonstrate the feasibility of productive use of renewable energy. Through the initiative, the IKEA Foundation and EnDev join forces to improve access to renewable energy solutions. In turn, this can enable smallholder farmers and people in rural communities to afford a better life and increase their resilience to climate change.

Upcoming pilot projects will include work on agricultural activities such as milk cooling and vegetable drying and the development of an energy hub.

Jeffrey Prins, Head of Renewable Energy at the IKEA Foundation, says: “Investing in access to renewable energy will not only help improve livelihood opportunities and increase incomes, but also reduce GHG emissions. A lack of access to sustainable and affordable energy prevents smallholder farmers and related local businesses from achieving increased productivity, higher income and food-secure livelihoods. This is why EnDev is needed, and we’re proud to fund this project.”

In Sub-Saharan Africa, most food crops are produced by an estimated 33 million smallholding farms, yet yields are the lowest in the world. Most of those smallholder farmers living on less than 1.90 USD per day are situated in rural areas and dependent on agriculture. At the same time, climate change impacts in Africa increase disproportionately.

“Solar energy is still underused in the agricultural sector because there are too few scalable business cases. It is great that together with the private sector and its experience, we can drive even more innovation in the agricultural sector,” says Daniel Busche, programme director at EnDev.

The project builds on the success of EnDev, which, since its inception in 2005, has provided 23.8 million people in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America with sustainable energy access and reduced 2.3 million tonnes of CO2e.

Implementation of impactful business cases will be jointly handled by the Gesellschaft fuer international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbHSNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

Attend the project launch online

The project launch takes place at the Vienna Energy Forum 2021 during a side event on 6 July, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (CET). See https://www.viennaenergyforum.org