Khartoum, May 21st, 2019 - The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP); the Ministry of Water Resources Irrigation and Electricity (MoWRIE), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan signed today an agreement to implement a project on Solar water pumps for sustainable agriculture in the country. The project aims to promote renewable energy and sustainable financial models as a gateway to improving farmers’ livelihoods and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement was signed by the Undersecretary of MoFEP, Dr. Abdelmoneim Mohamed Eltayib and the resident representative of UNDP in Sudan, Dr. Selva Ramachandran.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will contribute US$6.4 million while UNDP will contribute US$0.6 million to finance the project over the next five years (2019 - 2023). The project endeavours to directly benefit 450 small and medium landholding farmers in all of the six localities of River Nile State in northern Sudan, including women farmers. This generous contribution will enable UNDP and MWRIE to build on the foundational achievements made by the pilot project in the Northern State from 2016 to 2019, which saw the installment of water pumping systems powered by 257.405 kw of solar energy in 29 demonstration farms across 7 localities. The pilot project also created the innovative National Solar Fund (PV Fund) in collaboration with Central Bank of Sudan and MoEFP.
The project aims to develop and accelerate the adoption of off-grid solar pumping for irrigation by providing demonstration units, technical capacity building, a quality-assurance mechanism, and a financing mechanism. It will expand the use of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems in the River Nile State to replace the diesel-based irrigation water pumps through a programme of PV pump installation. This installation in farmlands will be fostered by a financing mechanism under the National PV fund, which aims to remove the barriers of large capital required for solar energy system installation. Furthermore, the project will build the technical know-how on climate-adaptive agronomic practices and increase efficiency of water use in order to ensure the overall sustainability of water pumping practices as part of an overall drive towards effective and efficient management of natural resources (water, soil and crops). The project’s final goal is to advocate the replication of its practices in other states through creation of enabling environment to integrate solar water pumping for irrigated agriculture in Sudan.
“The project plays a catalytic role in promoting renewable energy use in the country and will be a transformational vehicle in scaling up adoption of solar energy for agricultural productivity through the development of new markets and business linkages between farmers, financial institutions and private sector”, said Dr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Sudan. “We greatly appreciate the generous support of KOICA in this partnership,” he added.
UNDP and KOICA have been longstanding partners across the world, and will continue working in close collaboration to support peace and sustainable development in Sudan.
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