The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – a non-profit targeting clean and zero carbon energy with support from Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) to bridge the gap between agriculturists and energy access in Nigeria.
This initiative was made known by the Managing Director of REA, Engineer Ahmed Salihijo shortly after launch in an interview with Channels TV. Salihijo said the idea stemmed out of COP26 where Nigeria pledged to clean energy and falls parts of the Agency’s mandate to take power to the unserved and underserved areas of the country.
The programme is said to be driven with the establishment of mini-grid power solutions to connect agricultural needs to further drive production down the value chain.
When asked on the sustainability and affordability of the project, the MD said, “on the EAP, REA and RMI are working on the feasibility of the programme which involves creating the demand in the Agric space and with the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agric., identify the cluster in demand. This model will be built on the successes of the Rural Electricity User Cooperative Society” where “the private sector and the farmers’ association will be responsible for sustenance of the programme. And farmers will pay for the service from the output of their activities”.
Records show that about $9b worth of fresh agricultural produce goes to waste owing to absence of storage and preservation facilities which are mostly electricity dependent. And experts also have it that Agriculture accounts for One-Quarter of the nations GDP, also engaging Two-Third of the Labour force is an industry when harnessed, can generate over $40b for the country.