Growing power: Exploring energy needs in smallholder agriculture

376 views

Published on

The presentation of Sarah Best, IIED's senior researcher (energy and extractives) at IIED's seminar “Growing Power: Exploring Energy Needs in Smallholder Agriculture” on 30 April 2014.

Drawing on Best’s “Growing Power” discussion paper (http://pubs.iied.org/16562IIED.html), the presentation considers the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of addressing the huge gap in access to modern energy and equipment smallholder-based agri-food chains.

It examines the diversity of energy needs, the approaches of the energy and agri-food sectors, and highlights key priorities, lessons-learned and knowledge gaps.

More information: http://www.iied.org/energy

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
376
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
23
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Growing power: Exploring energy needs in smallholder agriculture

  1. 1. 1 Sarah Best 30th April 2014Author name Date Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Sarah Best, Senior Researcher (Energy and Extractive Industries), Sustainable Markets Group. IIED, London, 30th April 2014 Growing Power: Exploring Energy Needs in Smallholder Agriculture
  2. 2. 2 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Presentation Outline 1. What is the issue and why does it matter? 2. What are the energy needs in smallholder-based food systems? 3. How have the energy and agri-food sectors approached energy needs in smallholder agriculture and related rural enterprises - differences, commonalities, progress and lessons-learned? 4. Ways forward and research gaps The content for this presentation is drawn from the IIED ‘Growing Power’ Discussion Paper (2014) available at http://pubs.iied.org/16562IIED.html
  3. 3. 3 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 What’s the issue? (a) Food for all implies more modern energy and equipment in food system Clarke, 2008. http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/pdf/252/lawrence_clarke.pdf
  4. 4. 4 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 (b) But is the current agriculture model affordable? E.g. Increased fossil fuels = higher farm-input & food prices
  5. 5. 5 Sarah Best 30th April 2014(c) Or sustainable? Fossil fuels contribute to food sector emissions (though < other GHG) FAO, 2011. ‘Energy Smart Food for People and Climate’, Issue Paper
  6. 6. 6 Sarah Best 30th April 2014(c) Or sustainable? Fossil fuels contribute to food sector emissions (though < other GHG) FAO, 2011. ‘Energy Smart Food for People and Climate’, Issue Paper
  7. 7. 7 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Implication? “We need to re-think the role of energy in food systems”, FAO, 2012
  8. 8. 8 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 2. What are the energy needs in smallholder- based systems? A value chain approach (a)
  9. 9. 9 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 A wider, rural development approach to mapping needs (b) For full version of table, see Best, S. (2014): Growing Power: Addressing Energy Needs in Smallholder Agriculture
  10. 10. 10 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Key points on energy needs • Well-recognised energy access gaps in land preparation, irrigation, processing and storage • But energy needs are more wide-ranging and vary across different farming systems & contexts - so solutions vary too e.g. grains vs fresh fruits to improve storage and reduce losses • Value chain analysis can pinpoint bottlenecks and opportunities • A rural development lens provides a wider understanding of priorities – especially relevant for electrification projects • A gender focus is vital – if women had the same access to productive resources as men they could increase yields on their land by 20-30% (FAO, 2011) • “Modern energy solutions” are not always the answer to a deficit e.g. due to costs, preference for draught animals
  11. 11. 11 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 3. How have energy and agri-food sectors addressed energy needs? Energy • Typically supply-led, though becoming more demand-driven • Focus on ‘modern energy’, over human/animal power • Intervention types: • Large-scale rural electrification • Standalone off-grid (e.g. solar irrigation)
  12. 12. 12 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 3. How have energy and agri-food sectors addressed the issue? Energy • Traditionally very supply-led, though becoming more demand-driven • Focus on ‘modern energy’, over human/animal power • Intervention types: • Large-scale rural electrification (e.g. centralised grid, mini-grid) • Standalone, off-grid power and equipment (e.g. solar irrigation) Agri-food • Focus on whole farm system, with farm as energy producer and user • Concern for food security, production, environment – energy one input among many • Meets energy gaps by increasing supply or reducing demand • Interest in all power types, and intervention types include: • Ag mechanisation (e.g. tractors, hand-powered tools) • Sustainable agriculture (e.g. no- till, efficient resource use)
  13. 13. 13 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Many energy & equipment solutions piloted – few reach scale Treadle Pumps 2-wheel tractor Rural electricity co-ops Multi-functional platform
  14. 14. 14 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Barriers to address in designing a sustainable delivery model for productive uses of energy • Weak demand, customers’ poverty, geography • Top-down, supply focus of rural electrification - interest stops pre-meter and lack of focus on productive uses • Institutions - lack complementary or joined policies across sectors (e.g. credit, extension services), role of power and politics (e.g. electricity subsidies and irrigation in India) • Finance – users need larger-scale finance to purchase equipment • Capacity gaps at all levels (farmers, SMEs, government) e.g. users’ business skills, low awareness of technologies • Availability of input products, equipment and services (fuel supplies, spare parts, repair services) • Lack of market access for sale of final products (e.g. bad roads)
  15. 15. 15 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Agri-food sector: some issues & insights • Ag mechanisation  big overlap and common lessons with energy sector, though differences too e.g. role of private sector, land titling • Sustainability-led approaches like ‘energy-smart’ and ‘climate smart’ agriculture have different solutions to expanding access e.g. - Conservation Agriculture, Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) • Strong champions for raft of sustainable agricultural practices – but also challenges to scale-up e.g. for ‘IFES’ - Complexity, workload - Competition and trade-offs - Access to technical support, time horizons • Bioenergy for energy access on farms? Successful examples of self-provisioning for household energy (e.g. China) and on larger-scale farms and processors – but few examples of smallholders producing and using bioenergy for their own productive needs
  16. 16. 16 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Conclusions • We’re not starting from scratch – there is good experience of technical options, what has gone wrong before and possible success factors • No ‘master plan’ that works for all crops and contexts, but common ingredients for success proposed by energy and agri-food sectors e.g. - Involve people more, raise awareness and demand – role of farmers co-ops? - Map “productive use” opportunities and energy bottlenecks in value chains - Promote complementary support packages (credit, extension, skills) - Build capacity and provide business development services - Facilitate access to efficient and high quality end-use equipment • Key priority to promote integration and joined-up approaches across sectors - energy, food, water, waste etc – and make complex ‘systems thinking’ more practicable.
  17. 17. 17 Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Possible quandaries and research gaps 1. Interrogating the hypothesis : Is “energy access” the right lens here? Are smallholder-based value chains the right priority? 2. How do we encourage joined-up approaches across sectors and make complex “systems thinking” (e.g. the ‘nexus’) more practical? 3. What are relative roles of the public and private sector? How can the risks for commercial investors be addressed and finance gaps overcome? 4. Power and politics: where are the political levers and blockers to change? 5. Learning from the past and the hidden: Are we reinventing the wheel with 1970’s ‘integrated rural development’? Are there promising examples of expanding access for productive uses ‘under the radar’ e.g. mini-grids? 6. Do we need to build energy literacy among farmer organisations and other actors? How? 7. How do we promote more & better measurement of energy access impacts?
  18. 18. 18 Sarah Best 30th April 2014Author name Date Sarah Best 30th April 2014 Contacts: sarah.best@iied.org Link to ‘Growing Power’ paper: http://pubs.iied.org/16562IIED.html Rebecca Trevalyan Guest Blog: http://www.iied.org/calling-all-energy-agriculture- experts-meet-talk-collaborate IIED energy page: http://www.iied.org/energy And for a historical perspective see “Power and the Land” - FDR Presidential Library 1940 - A documentary showing the struggle to bring electricity to rural areas of the United States.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZchKXFpaDg Thank you

×