Agriculture and related agri-food activities are at the heart of the rural economy. However, rural communities struggling with expensive or inadequate power supplies are often limited to producing low-quality goods with little diversity. Extending affordable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy to underserved rural areas can drive community development, strengthen livelihoods and improve the quality of life.
Off-grid renewables can support productive activity at all stages of the agri-food chain, from irrigation to support food production, through post-harvest processes, including agro-processing and food preservation for storage and transport. Modern renewable technologies also allow sustainable food preparation and cooking.
This report, IRENA’s first interactive digital publication, analyses the socio-economic impacts of deploying off-grid solutions in the agri-food sector. It finds that renewable energy can generate considerable time and economic savings as well as significantly improve output in activities including production, agro-processing and cooking. Off-grid renewable energy solutions are well-positioned to deliver energy in an affordable, secure and environmentally-sustainable way along all steps of the agri-food chain.
Renewable Energy Benefits: Decentralized Solutions in the Agri-food Chain