event 11 Apr 2022

Project // Sustainable Energy for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda

Supporting the Productive Use of Energy (PUE) in agricultural value chains to increase productivity and value-addition can be one of the most relevant means to improve smallholder farmers livelihoods and increase their resilience to climate change while contributing to GHG emissions reduction. In January 2021, the IKEA Foundation in partnership with EnDev began promotion of PUE in the dairy and horticultural value chains in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda with a total budget of EUR 8 million. The project will run until end of 2023 and focuses on the establishment of scalable business cases and cross-country learning, using PUE technologies that provide affordable energy services to smallholder farmers.

39382847645 1e3a1de668 k 1500x600

© FAO/Peter Ton


Smallholder farmers living in Sub-Saharan Africa earn less than 1.90 USD per day on average. Nearly one-quarter of the population suffers from undernourishment. At the same time, climate change impacts smallholders in Africa disproportionately due to higher incidences of drought, floods, and increasing average temperatures. Women and youth often lack access to essential resources like land and financing; in addition, they are often excluded from decision making. Despite their obligations in the household they also contribute 50% to the labor force, contributing mainly to the processing and selling of produce and products.

In rural regions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, smallholder farmers often have no access to energy services or use expensive and harmful energy sources which prevent them from efficiently farming and preserving agricultural products. At the same time, the high potential of renewable energy technologies and related energy services for PUE remains largely unused. The lack of access to sustainable and affordable energy technologies and services is the core problem which is addressed by this project.


Through this project, by using sustainable and affordable energy technologies and services, smallholder farmers and related local businesses of agricultural value chains should improve their livelihoods, increase their resilience to climate change and contribute to GHG emissions reduction.

The following results are expected:

  • increased access to PUE technologies and energy services for smallholder farmers through viable business cases
  • capacitated local actors to ensure the operation of PUE technologies
  • businesses mainstreaming PUE technology to provide sustainable energy services to smallholder farmers and their livelihoods

The project focuses on solar technologies and services for irrigation, cooling and drying for smallholder farmers in dairy and horticultural value chains to achieve increased productivity, improved nutritional outcomes, higher incomes, and improved climate-resilience and food security. The project will identify and pilot scalable, innovative solar business cases for smallholder farmers and related local businesses. In addition, smallholder farmers, agri-businesses and renewable energy enterprises will receive access to solar energy solutions and technological know-how. Energising Development will ensuring the transfer of experiences from Kenya and Uganda to Ethiopia with systematic activities for cross-country exchange and learning.

The business models follow a holistic approach. Beneficiaries are expected to improve their nutrition situation, increase their resilience to climate change and contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction, for instance by:

  • using solar irrigation for the production of fruits and vegetables, and solar drying and cooling in post harvesting processes.
  • improving the production and preservation of milk and dairy products using solar cooling and water pumping systems to keep products cool and improve the provision of water and feed for dairy cows

An Innovation Fund will also provide small grants of up to 22.500 EUR on a competitive basis. This will support registered entities with promising business cases which can demonstrate small-scale success stories.

At least 25% of the farmers and entrepreneurs supported by the project will be in women and youth (younger than 35 years).



Further Information

Learn more on the project website.

Stay up to date!

We inform you about current projects, events, actions, publications and news!