Renewable companies team up with Togo to expand solar-powered farming

Solar-powered irrigation
Solar-powered irrigation

Bboxx and EDF announced that they have teamed up with SunCulture and the Togo government to expand access to solar-powered irrigation systems for farmers.

As part of the partnership, the Togo Government will cover 50 percent of the cost of irrigation systems for 5,000 farmers. This is alongside tax exemptions on import duties and VAT on the water pumps. This builds on the “CIZO cheque” subsidy launched in 2019 by the Government, which made solar energy more affordable to help overcome energy poverty.

Supplied by SunCulture, Bboxx EDF Togo will be deploying the water pumps and arranging financing for customers. SunCulture’s brings experience from executing this solution at a large scale in East Africa while EDF brings its hands-on expertise in the sale and installation of off-grid solutions in Central and West African markets. EDF will also oversee design choices and help enhance product performance of the irrigation systems to be deployed in Togo.

The water pumps will be integrated with Bboxx Pulse, Bboxx’s comprehensive management platform using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, allowing for remote management and monitoring. The services will be provided on the same pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model used by Bboxx’s Solar Home Systems (SHSs).

According to the companies, this deal will improve farmers’ economic opportunities by increasing productivity by up to five times, while removing the need to travel long distances to bring back water. It will enable farmers to secure a harvest even during the dry season by creating additional irrigation. This contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 – decent work and economic growth.

Working as part of the Togo Government’s national electrification “CIZO” program, Bboxx EDF Togo already have positively impacted over 120,000 citizens’ lives thanks to domestic off-grid solar kits. Both partners are now committing to expanding energy to an even larger part of Togo’s population, while also moving into other much-needed services, like sustainable agriculture.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx, commented, “For farmers in rural Togo, this latest deal will be life-changing, improving productivity, household income and quality of life, while fostering economic development at scale and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Togo Government’s subsidy is vital to accelerate this program to thousands of farmers and make sustainable agriculture affordable for all.”

Xavier Rouland, EDF’s Off-Grid Department Director, added, “After two years of growth in Togo in the field of solar kits, this new step is crucial for us since it will help boost the rural economy, offering farmers tools that increase their incomes while using more environmentally friendly solutions.”

Samir Ibrahim, CEO & Co-Founder of SunCulture, said, “We are in a global food crisis, and this subsidy program is an important showcase of how innovating financing can play a leading role in addressing food insecurity across Africa. This partnership will be catalytic in promoting off-season and higher-value agriculture across Togo, and we’re certain that it will pave the way for other sub-Saharan African countries to mobilize resources to address food crises, improve livelihoods, and spur economic development.”

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