The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) announced the nine ventures taking part in its newest clean energy development portfolio, Powering Agrifood Value Chains. These enterprises are bringing clean energy solutions to local agrifood value chains in developing countries. The participants of Powering Agrifood Value Chains are creating prosperity and alleviating climate change by utilising renewable energy or energy efficient upgrades in critical links of local value chains, from farm to table.
23-06-2015, Vienna, Austria
The food producing agricultural (agrifood) sector is among the most dominant economic sectors worldwide: as a basis of human sustenance, livelihood and economic growth; and as a source of ecological impacts on water, air, and climate. Amid booming population growth, the sector must undergo sweeping modernisation to increase efficiency and yields, enhance variety and meet the changing dietary requirements of a rising global middle class. Energy will be needed to power the new agricultural revolution, and that energy must be sustainable.
“The new agricultural revolution will be driven by technological and commercial innovations, and by the entrepreneurs that bring them to market,” said REEEP Director General Martin Hiller. “Technologies such as efficient solar powered irrigation systems, small hydro-powered agrifood processing and waste-to-energy systems are already cost effective in many low-income markets, and businesses have developed new models for raising awareness and building customer bases; for empowering and providing finance to clients with limited resources; or for helping customers access new markets for their own goods.”
But it is still early days, and enterprises in many parts of the world need help. Governments and financial institutions must pave the way for sustainable innovation by lowering barriers to entrepreneurship and finance, and by building sustainability into policy making.
Through the Powering Agrifood Value Chains portfolio, REEEP is supporting individual entrepreneurs with a support package including seed-level financing, either as a grant or a soft loan; best-practice advisory services; and business mentoring and private investment matchmaking together with partner CTI PFAN (Climate Technology Initiative Private Finance Advisory Network). At the same time, enterprises take part in REEEP’s rigorous monitoring, evaluation and learning system. “REEEP’s monitoring, evaluation and learning supports governments and financial institutions in improving policies and investment climates, and will invigorate investment pipelines for larger private investors,” said Eva Oberender, Director of Programme at REEEP.