Learning Session: An All-Around Take on Capacity Development for Solar-Powered Irrigation

The agricultural sector is the single largest employer worldwide, sustaining the livelihoods of around 40 % of the global population. However, many farmers still struggle to increase yields to meet the growing populations’ needs. The effects of climate change make rainfed farming even more challenging, with increasingly unpredictable and unreliable rainfall patterns.
Irrigation is a way to increase yields and farm productivity as well as to enlarge the area of cultivation and can help to improve food security, fight poverty and stimulate socio-economic development. However, the topic of irrigation must be considered holistically to become a sustainable solution and prevent depletion of water sources.

The GIZ project ‘Powering Agriculture’ as part of the Global Initiative ‘Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC)’ began working in the field of solar-powered irrigation systems (SPIS) in 2015 to promote sustainable ways of irrigation. Since then, GIZ and FAO have worked together on developing a free and web-based ‘Toolbox on SPIS,’ a compilation of knowledge products (including Excel-based tools, a multilingual e-learning course, and a smartphone app) that give all-around advice for irrigation systems powered by solar energy. Further, GIZ has trained more than 500 stakeholders, decision makers and advisors all around the world on utilizing on the Toolbox. The new international initiative “Water and Energy for Food (WE4F)” is excited to take up the work around SPIS and advance capacity development further.

WE4F brought together a range of experts for the interactive virtual session “An All-Around Take on Capacity Development for Solar-Powered Irrigation”. The session dove deep on the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned around capacity development for solar irrigation. A range of different speakers discussed the lessons learned during online and offline trainings using the SPIS Toolbox, the launch of the new smartphone app and an overview of other ongoing activities, such as the making of a TV show, the first “make-over show for farms”.

The session was recorded and is available for viewing below.