News URBIS Togo visits agricultural collectives in the Togolese central region

Chilli harvest in Togo Copyright UFT

As previously reported, a new project has just been launched by the Urbis Foundation Togo. This involves the expansion of solar irrigation at CPIA and capacity building to increase agricultural producers' access to solar irrigation, which should lead to an increase in yields in the long term.

The foundation's own farm CPIA will be established as a training centre for solar irrigation and climate-resilient agriculture in the central region. The aim is to create a long-term awareness-raising and training programme on the topic of energy and agricultural irrigation in the central region. In the long term, the system training courses are to be disseminated in the region's technical training centres.

In addition, financial institutions are to be sensitised to the topic in order to facilitate the granting of loans for solar irrigation systems. At present, the lack of knowledge about the advantages and possibilities of solar irrigation is leading to a bottleneck in the granting of these loans.

Another aspect is the installation of 9 solar irrigation systems for agricultural cooperatives. These agricultural collectives are also being trained in the use of solar irrigation systems and are to serve as multipliers in their communities for the further dissemination of this application.

In order to decide which groups should benefit from the solar installations, the UFT team visited 17 agricultural collectives. They encountered a number of difficulties. Some co-operatives have no experience in growing vegetables, some lack access to a permanent water source, some co-operatives function as sales associations instead of co-operatives, and in some places there were difficulties in developing the land. Nevertheless, nine agricultural collectives have now been selected.

Visiting the co-operatives allowed the URBIS team to see the realities on the ground and select the groups that really meet the URBIS criteria. We are sure that the solar installations will help to overcome production difficulties.