The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced that it has joined hands with the Agriculture Bank of Egpyt (ABE) to help Egyptian farmers access funding to purchase solar irrigation systems.
The partnership will help Egyptian farmers switch to solar irrigation systems and reduce their dependence on diesel-powered generators and boost their productivity.
IFC said farmers could potentially save around 14 billion Egyptian pounds (~$ 875 million) annually in diesel fuel costs by using solar power for water pumping.
“Our partnership with ABE will help provide clean energy to farmers at an affordable cost while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Supporting the development of renewable energy and expanding access to finance are priorities for IFC in Egypt,” said Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
According to its press statement, IFC will help the bank build capacity, and design new financial products for Egyptian farmers to purchase and install solar irrigation pumps as most of them do not have direct access to grid electricity.
“Expanding the use of solar energy technology among farmers is part of our strategy to support agriculture and rural development in Egypt. It will also contribute to the country’s 2030 strategy to encourage agricultural investments and rationalize the use of resources, including energy, in the sector,” said Sami Abdel Sadek, Deputy Chairman of the Agriculture Bank of Egypt.
IFC said that the partnership is part of its broader advisory work to strengthen clean technology and assist entrepreneurship in Egypt.
Notably, the Indian government has launched KUSUM, a massive program to help solarize the agricultural sector. The government launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) in February last year. The objective of this innovative program is to help farmers achieve financial stability and water security.
Mercom recently published an article discussing some amendments that are likely to expand the scale and efficiency of the project.
Image credit: IFC
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.