At an trade convention and exhibition held in Lagos, the Consulate of the Netherlands referred to as on gamers within the agricultural worth chain to undertake mini-grid electrification initiatives, largely utilizing photo voltaic as an vitality supply.
The panel session occasion, themed “empowering agriculture via photo voltaic,” which was held throughout the Agrofood Nigeria Exhibition and Convention in Lagos, had farmers, agricultural equipment suppliers, producers, builders within the mini-grid area, and financiers and buyers speaking about the best way ahead.
Bukola Lucas-Kolajo, Financial and Commerce Adviser, Consulate Basic of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, mentioned that the dialog among the many stakeholders is across the want for the productive use of electrical energy.
“We’ve got come collectively to proffer options to the shortage of entry to electrical energy that’s eroding the productiveness of residents and farmers.”
“We’re not solely electrifying the agricultural areas but additionally offering an economic system for the agricultural areas to have the ability to create an enabling atmosphere,” mentioned Lucas-Kolajo.
In accordance with her, this collaboration would result in a hub that would additional carry Dutch companies into Nigeria.
As of 2021, an estimated 85 million folks in Nigeria nonetheless lack entry to electrical energy; in keeping with the Worldwide Vitality Company (IEA), this represents one of many highest ranges of vitality poverty on this planet.
Even amongst those that have entry to electrical energy, energy outages are frequent and may final for hours and even days, significantly in rural areas. For instance, the nationwide grid has collapsed eight instances in 2022, the final time in July.
“We’re in search of methods to enhance the agricultural sector with mini-grids, solarising the technology for the sector,” mentioned Folu Alabi, Vice President of Operations at Ashipa Electrical.
He mentioned that with additional collaboration, farming may be optimized and yields will enhance. “And we are able to see how the machines give us a extra dependable supply of energy.”
Nigeria’s agricultural sector contributes to a major a part of the nation’s GDP. Between July and September 2021, agriculture contributed to nearly 30 p.c of the overall GDP, a rise of about six proportion factors in comparison with the earlier quarter.
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“To start with, we have to create consciousness and practice the farmers and meals processors. They should know it really works and why they should settle for all items into consideration, together with photo voltaic and mini-grid, relating to the worth chain,” mentioned Omolara Svensson, the managing director of O.O.Ok. Group and its subsidiaries.
In accordance with her, photo voltaic mini-grids when it comes to agriculture, cultivation, and processing have already confirmed to be an excellent answer in a variety of methods.
“So, they should know the advantages of adopting photo voltaic and mini-grid options and their results on their farm produce and commodities.”
Representing the federal government within the session, Lande Abudu, Element Lead, Photo voltaic Residence Programs on the World Financial institution’s Nigeria electrification initiatives, mentioned the federal government was creating an enabling atmosphere and the correct insurance policies to foster this collaboration, resulting in funding.
“So we’re continuously reviewing these insurance policies, ensuring they match their objective, and help the suppliers in addition to the customers.
“Alternatively, we additionally help the place we see want, like entry to finance. The federal government is attempting to be sure that there may be entry to funds, entry to knowledge, and help for builders,” she mentioned.
In accordance with Abudu, they’re working to be sure that every thing scales up within the coming months.
The dearth of dependable and inexpensive electrical energy has had vital implications for the nation’s financial growth, social welfare, and general high quality of life for its residents.