February 25, 2024

REA, stakeholders target economic growth through Rockefeller- funded renewable energy solutions in agricultural processes 

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) have introduced Energizing Agricultural Programme (EAP) to the stakeholders, a Rockefeller Foundation funded initiative, designed to catalyze economic development and improve rural livelihood in the country through strengthening the linkage between mini-grids and agricultural productivity.

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with support from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), discussed some of the benefits of the programme with stakeholders recently in Abuja.

EnergyDay gathered through a statement that the partners introduced the EAP to participants and the implementation projections of the programme in the years ahead.

According to the statement from Rural Electrification Agency (REA), “The EAP is a three-year initiative with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, that aims to stimulate the use of minigrid electricity in agricultural productive uses (i.e., those that drive local economic growth).

“The EAP focus is on enabling market-led solutions and breaking the silos separating electrification and agricultural development.

“The EAP is organized into three components. The first will support collaboration between energy and agriculture programs by convening the Working Group on Agricultural Development and Electrification.
This group, according to the REA, will work together to optimize investments across sectors, resulting in a pipeline of on-ground projects.

It said, “For example, projects in the Working Group’s pipeline could introduce Commercial and Industrial (C&l) solar to existing agro-processing centers established by agricultural development programs.

“The Agriculture-Energy Innovation Accelerator will work with cross-sectoral teams to pilot agriculture-energy solutions at mini-grids throughout the country.

“For example, an Accelerator team could prove the viability of locally-appropriate business models for electric rice milling by introducing suitable mills to women’s parboiling groups in minigrid communities.

“Additionally, the EAP will provide Non-Market Services to support these efforts, including collecting and publishing data that commercially motivated actors can use to find opportunities at the ag-energy nexus,” the statement said.

REA further noted that the aim of the program is to accelerate the deployment of energy-agriculture solutions that are poised to make a profit for equipment operators and scale via the private sector, across all components.

 

Ahmad Salihijo, REA, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, in his comment said, the meeting with the stakeholders is another another milestone for REA as it continues to drive its mandate.

The REA boss recalled that in May 2022, the agency officially launched the Energizing Agriculture Programme (EAP), in partnership with Rockefeller, RMI and GEAPP.

 

He noted that the initiative was facilitated based on the guidance from the Federal Ministry of Power, after months of quality engagements with the Working Group, private sector players as well as Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developmen,  coupled with the qualitative research and data gathering across the nation.