The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) have partnered to help Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar irrigation systems, reduce their dependence on diesel-powered generators and boost their productivity.
IFC is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.
Through the partnership, IFC will help ABE build capacity and design new financial products to enable Egyptian farmers, most of whom do not have direct access to grid electricity, to purchase and instal solar irrigation pumps.
Using solar power to pump water could potentially save farmers an estimated 14 billion Egyptian pounds (US$875mn) per year in diesel fuel costs, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ABE serves four million farmers in Egypt and is one of the country’s largest banks.
Sami Abdel Sadek, deputy chairman of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt, said, “Expanding the use of solar energy technology among farmers is part of our strategy to support agricultural and rural development in Egypt.
“It will also contribute to the country’s 2030 strategy to encourage agricultural investments and rationalise the use of resources, including energy, in the sector.”
Walid Labadi, IFC country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said, “Our partnership with ABE will help provide clean energy to farmers at an affordable cost, while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Supporting the development of renewable energy and expanding access to finance are priorities for IFC in Egypt.”
The partnership is part of IFC’s wider advisory work to strengthen Egypt’s clean technology sector and support entrepreneurship in the country.