ProjectScaling innovation at the energy-agriculture nexus in East Africa
With rising global demand for food, identifying means by which clean energy technology can be used to intensify agricultural production and facilitate processing are crucial. Over the last 10 years, there has been a trend towards innovation at the nexus between energy and agriculture in East Africa.
Social enterprises develop cost-effective energy solutions for SMMEs and smallholder farmers that can be applied along the agricultural value chain in a circular economy, from production, post-harvest storage and processing to reusing agricultural and livestock waste as a source of energy through gasification and thermal processing. The technological innovations lead to increased agricultural productivity and strengthen smallholder through direct access to markets.
However, most companies are still in the pilot or early growth phase. They struggle with relatively high technology costs, fall between the cracks of sector specific regulations and face little public knowledge and awareness on the benefits of green energy solutions for sustainable agriculture. All these barriers currently prevent solutions at the nexus from reaching scale.
The aim of this project is to provide East African policy makers with recommendations on how to scale innovative business solutions at the energy-agriculture nexus. It makes the business case for investing in the nexus and identifies four sweet spots for policy intervention.
Endeva developed a policy brief for East African governments to show why it makes sense to invest in this nascent sector and what key barriers companies at the nexus are facing. Based on these insights and lessons learned from both developed and developing countries, the policy brief highlights four good practices how policy makers can catalyse development at the nexus.