Mozambique is vulnerable to climate change and continues to be affected by extreme events such as floods, cyclones and droughts, which have a direct impact on agriculture. Most of the rural population lacks basic food and consumes just one meal per day. Water is scarce. Despite the fact that the country has been gradually introducing solar renewable energy projects into rural communities to provide electricity in rural areas, the agriculture sector has not benefited on a large scale. Photovoltaic systems would be a reliable source of electricity for irrigation purposes, as exemplified in some African countries that have introduced solar systems for crop irrigation.
This project will introduce solar systems into rural communities for agricultural activities and involve women in the value chain of a business model called “Pay as you irrigate.” Its objective is to ensure that rural farmers can afford the crop field irrigation systems that contribute to offsetting the water deficit imposed by climate change. The end-users will be charged for the amount of water pumped to their farms and this money will be used for system maintenance and to increase crop production and diversification. A controlling mechanism will be used to monitor the amount of water used so that only the amount needed for the crops is provided, thus avoiding wasted water.
Support is requested to obtain the optimal minimal cost configuration to match the PV system, groundwater pump and water distribution system in order to make the best use of solar energy. Statistical tools will be used to analyse the findings and the data analysis results will be disseminated to the public through presentations and publications.
Ultimately, Mozambique will deploy several solar systems in rural farming areas as means to foster agricultural production, mitigate climate change, generate income, and eliminate famine among farmers and women in particular.
Twelve women among twenty participants from each province will be trained in designing, implementing and managing solar systems for irrigation. They will then scale-up their knowledge and skills by training other women in their communities, including on topics such as climate change and its impact on agricultural activities, mitigation and adaptation plans. Ultimately, the skills acquired in the trainings will enable them to install small PV systems for multiple purposes in their communities.