Agriculture and related agri-food activities are at the heart of the rural economy, with a large percentage of households employed in harvesting, agro-processing, transporting and selling produce. Yet, rural communities often struggle with the lack of access and affordability of resources, and they can be limited to producing low-quality goods with little variety. This traps rural economies in poverty.
Affordable energy services were recognized as essential ingredients of economic development in the Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of extreme poverty. More recently, access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy has been included as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Increasing access to cost-effective and environmentally sustainable energy services can have a broader development impact through better livelihoods, improved health, gender equality and enhanced education..
Released this weekend at the International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition, IRENA’s first interactive digital publication, Renewable Energy Benefits: Decentralised Solutions in the Agri-food Chain, highlights the socio-economic benefits of using decentralised renewable energy to deliver energy for activities in the agri-food chain in rural areas. Continue reading Renewables for Growing Food and for Growing the Economy