- Experts say use of solar technologies in Agriculture will mitigate the impact of climate change.
- Farmers who have used solar energy say their biggest challenge was the fake solar equipment on the market.
- Others say that the water sources where they can pump water for irrigation are very far.
Innovation experts have advised players in the agriculture sector to adopt and accelerate the use of solar technologies in order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate the impact of climate change.
Speaking during the Agri solar Stakeholder engagement workshop organized by the Innovation Village in partnership with Youth Challenge International and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Future lab studios lead at innovation village Uganda ,Arthur Mukembo, said that Uganda has a significant potential for solar energy production due to its high levels of solar radiation which creates a great opportunity for the agriculture sector to leverage on solar during the production, processing, distribution and waste management processes across its value chain.
"Climate change is the world’s biggest environmental crisis today evidenced by raging wide fires, unpredictable weather patterns, prolonged drought spells and heatwaves.``Mukembo said
He said that increasing carbon emissions are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth's temperature to rise.
"Like a blanket or cap, these emissions trap solar heat that would have otherwise been radiated into space, globally, the focus is on solar energy because of its eco-friendliness. Mukembo noted
He said the workshop was organized to map out the challenges impeding the adoption of solar energy and develop practical solutions to unlock the massive untapped technology opportunity that can be harnessed to improve sustainability and economics of the energy mix across farming communities.
The chairperson kween district farmers association in Sebei region Milton Chebeit called for the roll out of solar energy in the entire country, because it's easier to use and cheap.
He said that some farmers in his area are now using generators to pump water for irrigation but they find it hard to buy gasoline because it is very expensive.
Last year it was very dry and there are farmers who almost lost the entire garden but with solar energy they will only need batteries to pump water for irrigation.
''Chebeit has also requested the Government to come in and support small holder farmers who don't have the capacity to acquire solar systems to pump water for irrigation.
"The only challenge, they say you should be near a water source of not more than 700meters ,what about those farms that are 1000 meters away ,so the Government needs to provide the water sources.
"Chebeit added Grace Nyakana, the commercial team lead Tulima Solar Uganda , said the farmers should adopt solar power technologies because they are clean and reliable since it only needs sun to run a pump.
"A lot of those other equipment's require constant servicing as opposed to solar energy systems and for a farmer it helps you to save on the cost of electricity or fuel.''
Nyakana said .However other farmers who have used solar technologies highlighted the challenges they have encountered in using solar technologies, Including poor quality solar equipment on the market ,taxes on solar products , lack of awareness to use the solar equipment among the smaller holder farmers.
Few technicians put up solar systems, Cost of Solar equipment , maintenance and credible water systems near farmers.