The FAO project “Investing in Energy Sustainable Technologies in Agrifood Sector” (INVESTA) developed a methodology to analyze energy interventions in the agrifood sector1. The main purpose of the methodology is to assess costs and benefits associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency practices and to highlight hidden socio-economic and environmental costs and benefits of such interventions. This is important for decision-making for better targeting investments that will result in a net benefit to the society. The analytical approach has already been applied to specific energy interventions in the milk, vegetable, rice and tea value chains in Kenya, the Philippines, Tanzania and Tunisia.
In recent years, several experts (engineers, environmental supporters, government experts, agronomist technician, etc) are pushing for the installation of electric pumps fed by solar energy and modern irrigation systems in order to promote renewable energy and water use efficiency in agriculture particularly in rural areas of the developing world.
In this paper, the INVESTA methodology is applied to identify the real costs and benefits of solar irrigation systems in two international cooperation projects in Senegal.