Bboxx, EDF, and SunCulture to accelerate access to solar-powered farming in Togo

Solar powered irrigation copyright SunCulture The Governement of Togo has agreed to partner Bboxx EDF Togo, created by Bboxx and EDF, and SunCulture to help make sustainable irrigation more accessible, increase agricultural productivity, generate additional income and improve economic opportunities for underserved communities in Togo

As part of the partnership, the Government of the Togo will provide a 50% subsidy to halve the cost of irrigation systems for 5,000 farmers. This is alongside tax exemptions on import duties and VAT on water pumps, making the product more affordable for the end users such as smallholder farmers in Togo. This builds on the “CIZO cheque” subsidy launched in 2019 by the Government, which made solar energy more affordable to help overcome energy poverty.

Supplied by solar irrigation provider SunCulture, EDF’s partner and affiliate in Kenya, Bboxx EDF Togo will be deploying the water pumps and arranging financing for customers. The Togolese market will benefit from SunCulture’s experience from rolling out this solution at a large scale in East Africa. EDF brings its hands-on expertise in the sale and installation of off-grid solutions in Central and West African markets. The irrigation systems to be deployed in Togo will also benefit from EDF’s technical R&D expertise in the off-grid sector, where EDF will oversee design choices and help enhance product performance.

“Strengthening our partnership with EDF in Togo by expanding our energy services and moving into sustainable agriculture, is an exciting milestone in our joint venture. For farmers in rural Togo, this latest deal will be life-changing, improving productivity, household income and quality of life, while fostering economic development at scale and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said, Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of Bboxx.

The water pumps will be integrated with Bboxx Pulse, Bboxx’s comprehensive management platform using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, allowing for remote management and monitoring. The services will be provided on the same pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model used by Bboxx’s Solar Home Systems (SHSs).

This deal will improve farmers’ economic opportunities by increasing productivity by up to five times, while removing the need to travel long distances to bring back water. It will enable farmers to secure a harvest even during the dry season, with the possibility to grow higher value crops. It will also create additional irrigation by increasing the area cultivated. 

Xavier Rouland, EDF’s off-grid department director, commented, “After two years of growth in Togo in the field of solar kits, this new step is crucial for us since it will help boost the rural economy, offering farmers tools that increase their incomes while using more environmentally friendly solutions. We are very proud, with our partner Bboxx, and thanks to the political will of the Togolese authorities, to bring forward the solar powered irrigation know-how of SunCulture, EDF's Kenyan partner, as well as our experience of the Off-grid market in West Africa.”

Samir Ibrahim, CEO & co-founder of SunCulture, commented, “This partnership will be catalytic in promoting off-season and higher-value agriculture across Togo, and we’re certain that it will pave the way for other sub-Saharan African countries to mobilise resources to address food crises, improve livelihoods, and spur economic development.”

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