The Powering Agriculture Innovators

Speeches Shim

Powering Agriculture Innovator Showcase 2018
In January 2018, 35 Innovators, representing 21 Powering Agriculture Innovator teams gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the 2018 Powering Agriculture Xcelerator Workshop and Innovator Showcase. The week-long workshop focused on developing skills needed to find product-market fit and scaling up of innovations.

Powering Agriculture issued two global calls for innovation, providing grants to 24 organizations to design, pilot, and deploy clean energy solutions at different points along the agricultural production cycle.

Powering Agriculture issued global calls for innovation in 2012 and 2014 to source solutions within the clean energy-agriculture nexus that:

  • Enhanced agricultural yields/productivity;
  • Decreased post-harvest loss;
  • Improved farmer and agribusiness income generating opportunities and revenues; or
  • Increased energy efficiency and associated savings within farms and agribusinesses, while stimulating low-carbon economic growth within the agriculture sectors of developing countries.

Powering Agriculture provided innovation grants ($500,000–$2,000,000) to 24 innovator grantees to design, pilot, and deploy clean energy solutions at different points along the agricultural production cycle. The innovators implemented activities in 22 countries over the course of the Grand Challenge.

  • Ethiopia

    African Bamboo

    An environmentally friendly bamboo thermal modification process based on a demand-driven and energy-efficient biomass combustion unit, this modern value-added processing technique promises to increase the earning potential of farmers. Visit

  • Benin, Tanzania

    CAMCO Advisory Services

    A mobile combined heat and power plant powered by the combustion of biomass waste produced at local agricultural processing facilities promises to generate energy for agricultural activities. Visit

  • Senegal

    The Earth Institute at Columbia University

    A solar micro-grid that enables farmers to power multiple small-scale pumps for irrigation, increasing agricultural production and reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by not using diesel pumps. Visit

  • Haiti

    EarthSpark International

    A solar-diesel hybrid micro-grid system for powering agricultural processing that promises to increase access to affordable, reliable electricity for value-added agricultural processing and improve farmers’ ability to process agricultural goods. Visit

  • Jordan

    ECO Consult

    An integrated model of hydroponic technology and solar panels to compete with conventional greenhouse technology and drip irrigation systems promises to help farmers increase their incomes while reducing water use. Visit

  • Honduras, Nepal, Zambia

    iDE (International Development Enterprises)

    A solar irrigation system based on an affordable, ultra-low pressure drip irrigation kit aimed to maximize agricultural output with zero carbon emissions and the value of water pumped. Visit

  • India

    Motivo Engineering

    A hybrid agriculture-road vehicle with electricity storage and transformation (HARVEST) system that solves a wide range of agricultural mechanization and power-related problems by supplying low-cost, infrastructure-less energy for farmers. Visit

  • India

    Promethean Power Systems

    A refrigeration solution using a thermal energy battery pack that charges on intermittent power sources, such as solar power or grid electricity, promises to keep milk chilled around the clock. Visit

  • Mozambique

    Rebound Technologies

    A novel, off-grid refrigeration solution promises increased agricultural productivity by removing field heat from crops immediately following harvest and providing product cooling at local markets and/or central processing facilities. Visit

  • Kenya

    SunDanzer Refrigeration

    A portable cooling system consisting of a photovoltaic refrigerator that uses solar energy to power a refrigerator promises to increase dairy farm productivity and income by decreasing milk spoilage. Visit

  • Uganda

    University of Georgia Research Foundation

    A two-component device powered by biogas extracted from cow manure that provides a gentle evaporative cooling process to keep milk fresh overnight for smallholder farmers with limited access to electricity. Visit

  • Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

    Ariya Capital Group

    A flexible, mixed-technology approach using various distributed renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions promises cost-effective, low-risk generation, storage, and stabilization services to local flower and horticulture farms. Visit

  • India

    Claro Energy

    A pay-per-use service using a solar trolley system provides on-demand irrigation to farmers at half the cost of diesel pumps, independent of monsoon patterns or availability of power. Visit

  • Kenya


    Low-cost solar irrigation pumps offer smallholder farmers a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to diesel pumps and promise double productivity, as the growing season can be extended through the dry season. Visit

  • Ethiopia

    Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network

    An infrared technology based on biogas digestion of coffee husk and pulp waste to fuel state-of-the-art coffee driers and reduce drying time, promising reduced post-harvest loss and improved coffee production. Visit

  • Ghana, Nigeria

    Husk Power Systems

    A hybrid solution that combines a biomass gasification system with a solar PV system promises access to electricity for residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial needs, even in the night hours. Visit

  • Jordan, Lebanon

    Institute for University Cooperation

    A solar-powered drip irrigation system for farms to support fertigation, provide the possibility of fertilizer distribution through the irrigation system, and reduce water and fertilizer use. Visit

  • Bangladesh

    iDE Bangladesh

    A micro-grid powered by an economically viable renewable source, solar energy, to replace diesel consumption and power off-grid fish hatchery water pumping activities while supplying households with renewable power. Visit

  • Kenya

    KickStart International

    A foldable, flat pack solar irrigation pump for poor smallholder farmers promises a high-performance yet easy-to-assemble, highly mobile, robust, and durable unit that requires minimal maintenance. Visit

  • Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania

    SimGas Tanzania

    The first off-grid, farm-level biogas-powered milk chiller aimed to help milk supply meet demand independent of the power grid promises increased productivity and doubled incomes for dairy farmers. Visit

  • Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia


    A solar-powered irrigation system based on the scaled distribution of smallholder farmer-tailored agro-solar irrigation kits promises savings on fuel and maintenance costs as farmers switch from diesel-powered irrigation. Visit

  • Guatemala

    Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

    A privately-financed solar mini-grid for agricultural communities operated by a local service provider that also provides agribusiness service and promises private sector investment to fund the establishment of new utilities. Visit

  • Bangladesh

    University of Toronto

    A passive aeration system for aquaculture that increases ponds’ dissolved oxygen levels to improve water quality and increase the density of fish stock, yields, and market value. Visit

  • Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Vanuatu

    Village Infrastructure Angels

    A solar-powered agro-processing mill, sized for villages, to power crop processing, replacing manual processing and reducing long-distance travel to use a mill. Visit

  • Burkina Faso, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Philippines, Tunisia

    GIZ Pilot Projects

    GIZ piloted sustainable solar cooling, processing, and solar-powered irrigation solutions in agricultural value chains. The projects gave researchers the opportunity to develop ideas with room to succeed or to fail. Visit