Updated: Oct. 19, 2016
This study aims to provide detailed data on the energy requirements, and possible clean-energy solutions, along three agricultural value chains—milk/dairy, rice and vegetables—to support the design of a development framework that increases the productivity and value generated in rural areas.
The G7 summit in July 2015 emphasized the need for a broad scope of interventions appreciating that hunger and malnutrition are currently most prevalent in rural areas. The G7 aim to follow an integrated, multi-sectoral approach to support rural areas in developing their potential. Yet, they also appreciate that rural worlds around the globe are in transition. To influence this transition to become socially inclusive and ecologically sustainable is a precondition to pro-poor rural economic development. Furthermore, access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is spelled out as Sustainable Development Goal 7. Hence, sustainable energy solutions for agriculture and food value chains are a central structural element to any support strategy for such inclusive rural development.
This is where Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development sets out to make a difference. The Initiative brings together the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Duke Energy, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). These partners join forces and focus on increased agricultural productivity and value in developing countries by promoting clean energy solutions in agriculture and agri-food value chains.
However, only little data and evidence are available on the energy needs along particular value chains that root in agricultural production. Therefore it is often not easy to design a supportive framework for value chain development with the aim to increase productivity and value generated in rural areas.
In order to fill this gap, the study on hand highlights the potential opportunities for reducing the demand for fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the value chains milk/ dairy, rice and vegetables—all of them of central importance for human nutrition. The Powering Agriculture partners are glad to present the results from the collaborative work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
This report aims to assist actors along the value chains, policy makers and other stakeholders in the agri-food industry to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, reduce related greenhouse gas emissions, and become more resilient to possible future climate change impacts. I hope it may serve as a solid knowledge base that leads to better targeted rural development interventions aiming at increased productivity and value added locally and regionally.