An international Forum on role of solar power on small scale farms will be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy from 12-13 April.
Co-organized by WLE, FAO, Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the forum will explore how solar technology can help meet the food and water needs of the world's growing population.
Agriculture is currently a major user of land and water resources, and a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Using solar power for rural agriculture and development can increase farmer access to electricity and water while reducing the carbon footprint of production. However, there is a threat that solar powered irrigation pumps could lead to water stress and overuse of groundwater.
IWMI and WLE have been working on solar powered irrigation for many years, and have been trialing not only technological, but institutional and social mechanisms for making solar irrigation beneficial and sustainable. The research done in India led to the establishment of the first solar power cooperative through which farmers could sell back excess power to the grid, reducing the threat of over-extracting valuable groundwater resources while contributing to India's goals of switching over to green energy production.
The International Forum on Solar Technologies for Small-Scale Agriculture and Water Management will bring together key stakeholders from the water, energy, agriculture and rural development sectors, to engage in a debate and establish a community of practice on solar technologies in small-scale agriculture and water management.
The Forum will be organized around four main themes:
- INNOVATIVE FINANCE, INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS MODELS
- CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
- EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF WATER RISKS
- ENABLING ENVIRONMENT