Domestic Firm Makes It Big in International Agri Contest

Published: Nov. 21, 2015


About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development supports the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that increase agriculture productivity and stimulate low carbon economic growth in the agriculture sector of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

An Indian company has featured among the 13 finalists for an international agriculture innovation competition here in the United States.

Washington: Claro Energy has been selected for its low-cost pay-per-use irrigation using solar trolley system, USAID said in a statement. In all, 13 companies from across the globe has been selected by Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development.

Powering Agriculture is a partnership between the USAID, the Government of Sweden, the Government of Germany, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Duke Energy Corporation. Selected from a pool of 871 applicants, 62 per cent of which are from developing countries—the winning organisations that comprise the 2015 Powering Agriculture

Innovator Cohort will collectively utilise $12.9 million in funding to commercialise clean energy technologies and innovative business models that will: (i) enhance agricultural yields/productivity; (ii) decrease post-harvest losses; (iii) improve farmer and agribusiness income generating opportunities and revenues; and (iv) increase energy efficiency within the operations of farms and agribusinesses.

“The 13 winning innovators are a testament to the power of how partnerships can have a positive, transformative impact in development,” said USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Charles North. “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development demonstrates how we can harness the collective intelligence and entrepreneurship of innovators to help end extreme poverty by providing clean energy to feed the developing world,” he said.

The finalists for the awards and the countries in which they will implement their projects include Ariya Capital Group (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) for powering agriculture with renewable energy, and Futurepump (Kenya) for sunflower pump: asset-financed solar irrigation pumps for smallholder farmers.

Related News & Events: 
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India has seen over $42 billion in renewable energy investment over the last 4 years. Claro Energy is a part of the upsurge of innovation that's helping India to meet its 100 GW solar power target by 2022—an important part of the country's overall global climate change commitments.

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Claro Energy's solar water pumps are a great solution in remote, off-grid regions. Plus, farmers can earn extra income by selling surplus energy. Another Claro innovation: e-rickshaws that bring pay-per-use solar panels to farmers, who can then irrigate using RFID cards, cash or micro-finance.