More effective and sustainable investments in water for poverty reduction

Positive prospects for solar-powered irrigation systems


More than 150 people from 49 countries around the world attended the International Forum on Solar Technologies for Small-scale Agriculture and Water Management organized by FAO on 12-13 April in collaboration with “Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development” (PAEGC), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

The forum was a great chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges for sustainable development through solar technologies. The rapid expansion of more affordable and climate-friendly solar-powered irrigation offers, indeed, viable solutions for small-scale farmers in developing countries to improve their livelihood. A lot of interesting topics of discussion and interest were raised about the need to develop innovative financing models to make solar technologies affordable for small-scale holders and the need for capacity development to create the knowledge and expertise. The forum also highlighted the urgency of ensuring that appropriate water management and governance systems are in place to encourage more sustainable use of groundwater to avoid risks of water waste and over-abstraction of groundwater.

A global report on “The Benefits and Risks of Solar Powered Irrigation - a global overview” and an online Toolbox on Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems, designed to provide hands-on guidance to end-users, policy makers and financiers, were launched at the forum.

The event was organized in the framework of this project "More  “More effective and sustainable investments in water for poverty reduction” and of other projects implemented by FAO “Adapting small-scale irrigation to climate change” and “Solar-powered irrigation”.

Watch the forum on demand