Nigeria agricultural sector currently employs 70% of the population of about 200 million persons, whereas, more than 80% of the farmers are smallholder farmers, and the group accounts for the poorest 40% of the Nigeria population (Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 2018). This is typical to the happenings in other sub-Saharan African countries and this is as a resulted into inefficiency in the agriculture sector despite the farmer’s workaholic nature. And this problem affects approximately over one hundred million persons who are farmers in Nigeria and with the majority of them lack access to electricity at home and on the farm. The problem impacts their lives due to low productivity and income that adversely affects their livelihood thereby making them remains in poverty despite their hardworking nature. I strongly believe there is no better time than now to use solar energy and power electronics together with good business model to enable the poor smallholder farmers improve their income through year round farming and access to inputs and credits. This is why I came about the “Co-op Solar Irrigation Hub” idea.
The innovation proffers sustainable solution to the smallholder farmer challenges associated with higher costs of farm operations. The dry period in-between the raining season because of climate change, and the use of dirty fuel in powering productive tools and implements in the rural communities are some of the problem sinking the smallholder farmers deeper into poverty. The Co-op Solar Irrigation Hub would ensure rural economic development and prosperity as the smallholder farmers have the opportunity to produce crop year round, have easier access to input and market thereby improve their yields and income, and use the power from the solar system for other productive use when the farm is fully irrigated. Thus, eliminate the causes of poverty and social exclusion, and mitigating and adapting the communities from the catastrophic effects of climate change thereby helping us achieve rural transformation and zero hunger.
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