Energy access investment, agricultural profitability, and rural development: time for an integrated approach

Falchetta, G. ORCID: (2021). Energy access investment, agricultural profitability, and rural development: time for an integrated approach. Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability 1 (3) e033002. 10.1088/2634-4505/ac3017.

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In rural sub-Saharan Africa, the global poverty hotspot, smallholder farmers account for 80% of agricultural production, with 90% of cropland being exclusively rainfed. A key obstacle to rural development and poverty elimination is the lack of electricity access: less than one in three dwellers have electricity at home. The main barrier to rural electrification is the capital-intensiveness of energy supply infrastructure among sparse communities with low demand density and insecurity of payment. While public governments have largely been unable to channel the required resources, private players are often unwilling to pursue risky and unprofitable household electrification programs. In this context, this perspective argues that the paradigm of rural electrification should be centred around an integrated approach aiming at increasing agricultural productivity and profitability. These bear the necessary potential to enable local income generation and thus also provide an incentive for private energy investment, including in the residential sector. A framework for the integrated approach is proposed and the crucial synergetic role of data modelling and business and policy research to pursue this paradigm is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 09:28
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 14:18

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