Updated: Dec. 22, 2016
This annual report describes the key activities of Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC) implemented over the financial year period of October 2015 to September 2016.
Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development represents a partnership of the United States Agency for International Development with the Government of Sweden, the Government of Germany, Duke Energy Corporation, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. It was launched in 2012 to support the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that stimulate low-carbon economic growth within the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.
Powering Agriculture will:
- Support clean energy technology and business model innovations for agriculture.
- Ensure that financial intermediaries have the capital they need to help organizations scale their clean energy innovations and reach the farmers and agri-businesses that need these technologies.
- Develop partnerships with public and private sector organizations that want to support the goals of the Powering Agriculture initiative.
- Serve as a clean energy and agricultural information resource hub for people around the world.
The Executive Summary lists the main activities that were implemented during the reporting year period as well as items expected to be implemented in the next financial year.
As our population expands, farms and agribusiness will need to produce, process and transport an increasing amount of food on the same amount of agricultural land. Identifying means by which clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production will be crucial in meeting this demand. Strengthening the links between modern energy service providers and the agriculture sector will create positive feedback loops to increase productivity along major components of the agricultural supply chain.
Powering Agriculture contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and follows the Grand Challenges for Development (GCD) model. Launched in 2012, Powering Agriculture concurrently focuses on the energy and agricultural sectors while providing technical, business acceleration, financing and policy support to its innovators and other stakeholders.
The Introduction provides an overview of Powering Agriculture’s founding partners, innovators, and support for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Highlights of the primary activities implemented during the reporting period fall into four categories:
- Partners Meeting – The Partners held their annual Partners Meeting at the USAID headquarters in United States over June 1–3, 2016.
- Mid-Term Review – Two midterm evaluations of the overall Powering Agriculture program and its 2013 Innovator cohort were completed.
- Raising Public Awareness – Powering Agriculture utilized multiple approaches and tools to communicate the program objectives and activities; build awareness of the clean energy/ag nexus and to disseminate results and knowledge from the initiative.
- Knowledge Management and Mainstreaming – Generating, analyzing, disseminating and supporting the application of knowledge leverages Powering Agriculture’s support to the Innovators to further integrate clean energy solutions within agricultural supply chains and adapt solutions to local context.
Many of the 2013 Innovators are in the final stage of implementation of their awards and continued testing their solutions in the field and making refinements as necessary. The awards of two Innovators ended in the spring of 2016: Earth Institute at Columbia University and Rebound Technologies.
The 2015 Innovator cohort have been in start-up mode, with Innovators who are lab-based working on the refinement of their technologies, while others who are in more advanced stages focused on the planning of their pilot demonstrations and field testing.
Powering Agriculture has continued to have a positive impact as the Innovators continue the field testing of their clean energy solutions and some of them scale up and start selling commercially.
Powering Agriculture continued to provide support in the areas of implementation, business acceleration and gender integration to both Innovator cohorts in order to enhance the chances of the successful deployment of their clean energy solutions.
Data show that integrating gender considerations improves:
- Return on investment
- Market reach and expansion
- Success rates, avoiding costly or time-consuming mistakes
- Entry into, and adoption by, communities
- Job opportunities for women.
Powering Agriculture has intensified its efforts to ensure that gender issues are considered by the Innovators in the design, development, and deployment of their clean energy solutions. An expanded, companion report on Powering Agriculture’s gender work which contains further details on our findings will be released in 2017.
Powering Agriculture has outlined major activities planned for implementation over the next financial year.
*5. Financial Information on Powering Agriculture’s budget, contributions and disbursements is confidential and limited for distribution only to the Powering Agriculture Partners.