FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO Concludes a Regional Training Program on Solar Powered Irrigation Systems

©FAO SNE

Tunis 30 December 2019

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concluded a Program for training of trainers in Solar Powered Irrigation Systems as part of the regional project "Assessing the Potential and Risk Management of Solar Irrigation in the Near East and in North Africa (NENA)".

The latest workshop of this program was held on 25 and 26 December in the governorate of Kairouan, and was attended by 50 engineers, technicians, local PV providers and farmers from the region.

It completes the training cycle, which started in Tunis (December 9 - 13) targeting 20 engineers from the northern governorates, and another session in Mednine (Dec 16 - 20) at the Arid Zones Institute, targeting 20 engineers from the governorates of the Center and the South of Tunisia.

Participants came from the regional agricultural development departments and concerned institutions, such as the Agricultural Training and Extension Agency (AVFA), the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME), the Agricultural Investment Promotion Agency (APIA), and professionals in designing, installing, financing and maintaining SPIS.

This training of trainers aims to strengthen the capacities of local extension workers and enable them to transmit their knowledge in the field of solar energy for irrigation. Dozens of future trainers have taken advantage of the "toolbox" developed by FAO and the German International Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ). These trainers will play as resource persons in their perspective regions and will participate effectively in improving the performance of irrigation systems using solar energy.

According to Mr. Philippe Ankers, the FAO Representative in Tunisia and sub-regional coordinator for North Africa, “The training of these Tunisian trainers goes beyond the scope of a specific project, since these trainers will contribute to the sustainability of the using solar energy in Tunisia, and support the Tunisian Solar Plan 2030.”

 Mr. Ankers also took the opportunity to thank the GIZ for "an effective partnership that will mark the future of irrigation in Tunisia, with an essential toolbox for popularizing communication with farmers and managers."

At the closing workshop, The regional head of Agricultural development Department in Kairouan, Mr. Abdeljelil Afli called for making 2020 the year of SPIS in Kairouan, and consider it as a pilot Governorate for Tunisia.

 

Toolbox

The Solar Irrigation Systems Toolkit developed by FAO and GIZ aims to promote an innovative and sustainable approach to catalyze the development and deployment of clean energy solutions and consequently increase the agricultural productivity and the benefit of the use of solar energy for farmers and agro-entrepreneurs.

The modules of this training introduce participants to tools relating to the assessment of water needs, the comparison of financial viability, the sustainable design and maintenance of a Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS), the determination of profitability for agricultural holdings and the payback period for investment in a SPIS, with particular emphasis on the key aspects of manufacturing quality.

This training complements the efforts of the Tunisian government, which has prepared appropriate legislation and subsidy programs to promote the use and adoption of renewable energy.

 


30/12/2019

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