NextEnergy Foundation (“NEF”) is rolling-out a solar-powered irrigation pilot for 10 small-holding farmers in the Ditza community, South Volta region, Ghana, together with Dream Renewables. These systems will eliminate the use of diesel generators and high-carbon grid electricity, while also increasing farmers’ yields and reducing farming time. The second stage of the project is now complete; a summary of the key outcomes is below. Visit the project page for more details about the first two stages.
The second stage of the project involved demonstrations of the drip irrigation system and the selection process for the farmers. Over 150 farmers attended community meetings. Some farmers were concerned about the effectiveness of solar drip irrigation in the area, particularly for farms directly on the coast. As a result, NextEnergy Foundation agreed to amend the scope of the project and fund two types of systems – drip and sprinkler – in order to facilitate a direct comparison of the two systems in this pilot and therefore provide a more solid base for the wider roll-out of solar-powered irrigation systems in future.
The final 10 successful applicants were selected and two project committees have been formed by the farmers participating in the pilot. Each committee has a elected a Chair who will be the main point of contact with the Dream Renewables team in the long-term.
Phase three of the project involves purchasing the materials for the installations; training the installation team; and, putting in place risk assessments. An update will be provided in January 2024.