Solar Tech for Unconditional Development
A one-time investment to install solar energy equipment helps one get relieved from the consistent fuel expenses. Solar energy is after all a natural endowment that only requires an initial investment for a life-time usage. Two brothers, Mohammedidris and Mohammedali Adem have been engaged in banana plantation. They used to cultivate 26 hectares of banana that have been watered from eight wells pumped by eight generators. As conducting agricultural activities through utilizing water sources that are pumped through generators consume considerable amount of diesel the farmers set out to use solar energy. This initiative has not only enabled them to save 120 liters of petroleum a day but also alleviated labor and spare parts costs.
Despite the extensive endeavors they exerted, before they began to use the solar energy, the wells were continuously being silted during the rainy season which in turn forced them to stop cultivation for about three months. The introduction of the renewable energy at the cost of 12 million Nakfa has now solved the existed problem.
Renewable sources of energy and particularly solar energy that has been utilized in different areas of the country used to generate 220 volts of electricity to the maximum. Nevertheless, the first of its kind project which is introduced in Dge sub-zone at Brud-mayu which is situated 56 km away from Akordet has been producing 380 volts of energy. Such amount of energy has been generated through four solar power plants; each producing 5.5 kilowatts. In three phases the farmers are now producing that much volts from the four solar energy equipment. Encouraged by this development, the farmers are now effectively managing the banana plantation and they would cultivate their farm lands without any constraint throughout the year.
The area in which the farmers are conducting agricultural activities is known as Brud-Mayu– which is roughly translated as ‘cold water’. From its name one could learn that the area is highly rich in underground water resources. However, making use of the resources at disposal was very limited due to infrastructural deficits. Taking a move to introduce the latest technologies of solar energy, the farmers in the area will now avail themselves of the endowments in an enhanced manner.
The technology that is applied for the installation of the solar energy at Brud-Mayu is of the latest developments. This high-tech came into practice in 2009. Thus, farmers in the Gash-Barka region are now familiarized with the latest technologies of renewable energy through the preliminary initiative of the exemplary farmers mentioned earlier.
A number of Eritrean farmers have been engaged in modern agricultural undertaking. Notwithstanding their unremitted efforts, the cost of the agricultural yield has been affected by the expenses they made at their farmlands. Hence, the pioneering experience of these individuals is expected to positively influence other farmers to partake in such tasks so as to make maximum use of solar energy. Being a hot area, the farmland in which Mr. Mohammedidris and Mohammedali among other farmers are cultivating is also very conducive to utilize solar energy.
According to Eng. Zerimariam Teame, Director of Dz Solar Tech, following a feasibility study conducted at the agricultural area, they decided to implement the new solar tech on the ground which resulted a 100% success. Through this technology, 35 m3 of water have been pumped per hour to the farmland that has been put under cultivation.
As both Mr. Mohammedidris and Mohammedali indicated the renewable technology they are utilizing now has enabled them to boost banana production that besides satisfying local market they are looking ahead to export as much banana and other agricultural yields.