UNDP and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) today signed an agreement to implement a project on “Promotion of renewable energy and sustainable financial modality as gateway to improve farmers’ livelihoods and Green House Gas reduction” aimed at supporting sustainable agriculture for climate change affected communities in Sudan through the use of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology instead of diesel-based irrigation water pumps in farmlands.
The agreement was signed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sudan, H.E. Mr Lee Ki-Seog and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Resident Representative in Sudan at a signing event held at the Korean Embassy on 4 April 2019.
Under the agreement, KOICA will contribute US$ 6.4 million and UNDP US$ 0.6 million respectively in support of the project over the next five years (2019 - 2023) to benefit 22,500 small and medium landholding farmers in all six localities of River Nile state including 50% women.
The project aims to develop and accelerate the adoption of off-grid solar pumping for irrigation by providing demonstration units of 450 solar powered irrigation pumps (250×3.12 kWp units, 200×5.12 kWp units), a financing mechanism, technical capacity building and a quality assurance mechanism.
This installation of pumps in farmlands, fostered by a financing mechanism under the National PV fund aims to remove the barriers of large capital required for solar energy system installation. Further, the adoption of solar PV technology for water pumping in agriculture will prevent negative impacts on air pollution and dependency on fossil fuels that are imported.
The generous contribution by KOICA will enable UNDP and the project’s government partner Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity to build and expand on the foundational achievements made by the pilot project in Northern state in 2016 – 2019. The pilot project installed 257.405 kWp of solar water pumping systems in 29 demonstration farms across 7 localities of the Northern state and created the innovative National Photo Voltaic Fund (PV Fund) in collaboration with Central Bank of Sudan and Ministry of Finance. This effort subsidized 75% of the solar powered pump cost and created exemption to solar energy private sector from import tax and duties by a decree from the Cabinet of Ministers.
The project is formulated in line with UNDP and Government of Sudan’s goals under the SDG 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy” and SDG 13 “Climate Action”.