The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is to deploy about 10,000 mini-grid solutions to power rural farmers by the year 2030 as part of efforts to boost food production in the country.
Tagged: “Energising Agriculture Programme,” the programme is being supported by Rocky Mountain Institute and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet.
In addition, it is expected to accelerate the deployment of energy-agriculture solutions to farmers, especially those in the hinterlands.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Abuja, the Managing Director of the REA, Mr. Ahmad Salihijo, said the scheme would help unlock various opportunities in the sector by developing projects that will accelerate the productive use of electricity in rural communities.
He explained that in the past one year, the agency had developed a unique relationship with the Rocky Mountain Institute to develop the concept for the scheme.
“We ventured into the Energy-Agriculture space to create a nexus that allows us to utilise the key activity in rural communities to improve the productive use of electricity, which includes agricultural activities.
“The key priority for the REA is to ensure that the solutions we deploy in rural communities have both social and economic impacts on the lives of the people in those communities. Therefore, ensuring that electricity is used productively is a major priority for the REA, ”he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr. Andrew Kwasari noted that power supply remains very important to boosting agricultural production in rural communities.
According to him, data has shown that power is critical to rural economies not just because it lights up the homes, but also because it solves the problem that drives the contributions of rural smallholders’ agriculture to climate change and deforestation as source of power to either process local produce.