How to Create Climate-Resilient Food Production: Tools, Trainings and Pilots for Solar Powered Irrigation Systems

The climate crisis is a water crisis. Sustainable agricultural water management plays a major role in enhancing the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world. Efficient irrigation practices are one of the key ways to put smallholder farmers on a path towards a world without hunger. Solar powered irrigation systems (SPIS) are an innovative climate-smart irrigation solution that links energy and water with increased food production by efficiently using resources.

In order to improve access and use of SPIS, WE4F will host trainings throughout 2022. These sessions will strengthen the entrepreneurial capacities of innovators, SMEs, and end-users to disseminate and adopt SPIS. Below WE4F shares the updated tools that interested parties can access and the planned trainings:

New Learning Experience with Updated Tools

The SPIS Toolbox has recently been updated: English, Arabic, French and Spanish speaking multipliers can access the full learning experience by using the new SPIS Toolbox Version 3.0. This updated toolbox informs and guides end-users, policymakers, and financiers on the potential of SPIS as a climate-smart transformative technology for water-efficient, farmer-led agricultural practices and sustainable global food systems. 

Additionally, another important tool has been developed: the SPIS android app. The app supports users in planning and optimizing solar pump use. It has been merged with the SPIS Suitability Map (Solar Based Irrigation | IWMI) to facilitate the consulting of advisors, policymakers and farmers to ensure a feasible use of SPIS, avoid risks of groundwater overuse and further optimize the planning and implementation of SPIS.

Trainings for Multipliers on the  New SPIS Toolbox Version 3.0

WE4F is hosting five online trainings on SPIS. The trainings will ocurr between February and October 2022 and each traning will last three days. The trainings will be in French and English. Participants from East and West Africa to gain knowledge on system efficiency, financial viability, and aspects of sustainable water resource management in solar irrigation using key tools of SPIS Toolbox.

In parallel, an e-learning course on the SPIS Toolbox, in both English and Arabic,   will take place this year,  from May 23 to June 19, 2022. It will consist of learning sessions, assignments, and weekly online live classes/webinars. The course will enhance the capacities of advisors and multipliers in the field of irrigation and promote the potential of SPIS in the water-stressed MENA region. Applications for the SPIS e-learning Course are open from February 7th until May 19th, 2022.

Upcoming SPIS Training Activities in West and East Africa

This year, the WE4F West Africa RIH will kickstart a massive SPIS training offensive with the aim of sharing knowledge and supporting the scaling of sustainable SPIS across the region. In Benin, the hub – together with the GIZ project Green People’s Energy – has planned four trainings of trainers on SPIS and six SPIS training courses for multipliers. In Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo, around 150 multipliers working in the field of agricultural water and irrigation management will have the opportunity to take part in SPIS training courses during the second half of 2022. 

In East Africa the MoU between the Lake Basin Development Authority in Kenya (LBDA) and WE4F East Africa RIH is the basis for various SPIS activities carried out in the Lake Victoria Basin. WE4F is supporting LBDA with nine training courses on the SPIS Toolbox to train LBDA’s staff on solar-powered irrigation. The authority´s goal is to make solar irrigation sustainable and commercial in the region by showcasing technological, financial, and operational best practices.

Moreover, up to nine Trainings of Trainers on SPIS and renewable energy in water systems and sustainable irrigation will be organized by WE4F´s partner CIHEAM-Bari in East Africa and West Africa. 

WE4F and its partners are looking forward to scaling farmer-led solar powered irrigation systems for climate-smart and resilient food systems.