Ghanaian official calls for utilizing Chinese support to develop solar irrigation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 20:43:25|Editor: An
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ACCRA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ghana needs to take advantage of China's support to the South-South Cooperation to develop solar irrigation facilities for farmers across the country in the face of high power tariffs, an official of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) said.

This, the official believes, will enable the farmers remain profitable and competitive in their chosen vocation.

Francis Ohemeng, Director of Irrigation Technology and Innovations Department at GIDA observed

At a one-day workshop on solar energy technology held here Tuesday, Francis Ohemeng, Director of Irrigation Technology and Innovations Department at GIDA observed that increasing electricity cost has been a major hindrance to growth in the agricultural industry and especially irrigated agriculture.

The workshop organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with Ghana's Energy Commission was to introduce some top Chinese renewable energy institutions to public and private sector players in Ghana's energy industry.

"Renewable energy is a good option to develop agriculture because it provides the needed support by increasing the energy supply required to distribute water all year without any interference and at an affordable cost," Ohemeng said.

"The use of Solar PVs has come at an opportune time especially when the government intends to implement flagship policies such as the One-Village-One-Dam; One-District-One-Factory; and Planting for Food and jobs," he said.

Beside favorable government policy and available sunshine as some of the incentives for investment, the official said investors should also take advantage of financing available under the South-South Cooperation, to which China has pledged financing support.

Ghana's agriculture depends heavily on rainfalls which becomes erratic, causing much headache to farmers and consumers.

The UNDP is leading the implementation of the China-Ghana-Zambia Renewable Energy Technology Transfer (RETT) program, a trilateral cooperation project, implemented by the governments of China, Ghana and Zambia, which aims at enhancing transfer of knowledge on renewable energy technologies from China to other African countries including Ghana and Zambia.

Zhang Weidong, Program Manager for UNDP China said the RETT program is, among other things, geared towards achieving rural access to modern energy and testing a demand-driven approach under South-South Cooperation for knowledge transfer on renewable energy technology.

The project, including the development of appropriate solar irrigation systems for rural farmers, will ensure renewable energy technology transfer, capacity building, and experience sharing among the tripartite countries.