The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral development finance institution, has approved to provide a grant of USD 21.783 million to the Government of Sudan.
Through this grant, AfDB aimed to accelerate the adoption of solar-powered irrigation pumps in the Sudan’s West Kordofan and North Kordofan states.
Under this project, farmers will be encouraged to adopt renewable energy technology via installation of 1,170 photovoltaic (PV) irrigation pumps.
Besides, maintenance and repair workshops will also be established for pumps, and equipments will be supplied for a pump testing laboratory in order to provide certification and training.
Explaining about the grant benefits, Paul Baldeh, AfDB’s Director for Power Systems Development, said that “by extending farmers a grant covering 75 percent of installation costs, the government, with Bank support, will overcome the most significant hurdle of adopting clean PV technology: high upfront costs.”
Furthermore, the remaining 25 percent cost amount will be payable in installments over 3 years.
Baldeh added that the project will conduct a ground water survey and sustainability assessment that will inform the development of subsequent projects in Sudan.
The Bank said in a statement that, project meets the Sudanese government’s renewable energy and poverty reduction objectives as well as the Bank’s high five and energy sector policy.
Additionally, the project has strong potential to be replicated and scaled up in other parts of Sudan, it added.
Agriculture plays a significant role in Sudan’s economy. In 2016, about 40 percent of it’s GDP came from farming. This project offers significant and numerous knock-on benefits both for the sector, as well as for the wider economy.
Meanwhile, it is expected that this will result in phasing out of diesel-fueled pumps among farmers in the country, and they will realise cost savings from no longer needing to purchase diesel, which is scarce in rural areas.