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Technical and economic feasibility of solar milling in women-led agri-food SMEs

CTCN

FAST TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Context

The effects of climate change – recurring droughts, soil salinity and floods – are being felt keenly in the agricultural sector and preventing vulnerable population groups from achieving food security. Much of the equipment used in the sector is in a state of disrepair and little agricultural produce is processed.

Government measures and policies on economic and social development, especially in the rural sector, place a strong emphasis on training for youth and women in agriculture. Senegal’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) also addresses the rural energy transition and the shift to renewables in refrigeration and food processing. In spite of these policies, achieving the food security and job creation targets assigned to this sector remains a challenge, in part due to a lack of access to appropriate, affordable and climate-resilient energy equipment.

The number of micro-businesses and small businesses is growing rapidly in Senegal, across both urban and rural areas. Most of these new businesses are involved in food processing. Processing (milling) of cereals (millet and maize) is a dominant activity practised by a large number of women, who produce a wide variety of products such as couscous, meal, grains and flour. However, these businesses struggle to access the technologies they need to reduce their carbon footprint and improve the quality of their products so they can sell them through more lucrative channels (supermarkets, exports).

CTCN Support

To help micro-businesses and small businesses access clean, affordable, locally manufactured energy technologies, and to set up a system in which equipment is monitored and maintained by women and youth:

  • Technology Needs Assessment;
  • Market research;
  • Technical feasibility study;
  • Economic feasibility study;
  • Evaluation and communication.

Expected Impact

Improved processing methods, with a particular focus on milling, also cut greenhouse gas emissions and build more climate-resilient communities by making beneficiary small businesses and SMEs more profitable and by creating jobs for women and youth in order to boost the local economy. 

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