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Innovators Join Hands to Promote Affordable Solar Farming Tools in Uganda

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innovators join hands to promote affordable solar farming tools in uganda
innovators join hands to promote affordable solar farming tools in uganda
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The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries in Uganda has expressed concerns about the low adoption of agricultural solar equipment, despite government efforts to promote their use. Small-scale farmers are finding these solar tools expensive, leading to limited uptake, even though changing weather patterns impact crop productivity.

Financial institutions and agricultural agencies attribute the slow adoption to the high costs, small and underfunded suppliers, a lack of appeal to rural farmers, and limited knowledge about financing options.

To address this challenge, the US-based CS Mott Foundation, in collaboration with Innovation Village, aims to help smallholder farmers access affordable solar equipment for agriculture. Their goal is to find innovative ways to boost solar energy adoption among farmers, ultimately increasing productivity and income.

Dr. Robert Ddamulira from the Mott Foundation emphasized that while solar equipment may seem expensive initially, it can result in higher profits in the long run compared to relying solely on natural resources. To overcome the financial hurdle, he suggested partnering with financial institutions for hire-purchase options and working with well-organized farmer cooperatives to access equipment.

During the Agri Solar stakeholder co-creation workshop, participants discussed ways to enhance access to affordable financing for solar technologies, promoting smallholder farmer productivity in key agricultural sectors.

Martin Tumuhereze, an irrigation engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, cited the high costs and concerns about equipment durability as factors hindering the adoption of solar irrigation. He also highlighted the need for skilled personnel to implement irrigation projects, mentioning the ministry’s efforts to place district irrigation engineers across the country.

The workshop aimed to collectively identify actionable solutions for increasing access to affordable financing for solar technology adoption, emphasizing the role of innovators in addressing climate change and boosting productivity.