Launch of Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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.

Public/Private Sector Collaboration Promotes Affordable, Clean, Energy Technology for Farmers and Agribusiness in Developing Countries

Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Duke Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) join to address problems in the agriculture sector that stem from limited access in developing countries to modern energy services.

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development is a program designed to link renewable energy technologies with farmers and agribusinesses in low-income countries.  Increasing their access to clean energy solutions will enable farmers to increase production of fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, add value to commodities through processing and extend the shelf-life of fresh produce by storing it in refrigerated containers. These advancements will lead to more food in the market and higher incomes for farmers.

This program will be implemented worldwide, providing grant funding and technical assistance to organizations, small businesses, and academic institutions that propose innovative, viable approaches to increasing clean energy access among agricultural communities.  The program will also work closely with local enterprises that design and sell clean energy technologies – to help them reach new markets and grow their businesses

The official launch of ‘Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development’ will be held on June 12, 2012. Confirmed speakers at the invitation-only launch include: Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Sorin Grama, Chief Executive Officer, Promethean Power; Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, USDA; David W. Mohler, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Duke Energy; John Morton, Vice President for Investment Policy, (OPIC); Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network; Frank Sesno, Director, GW School of Media and Public Affairs; Creator and Host, Planet Forward; and Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID.

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