Decentralized Energy Interventions as a Catalyst to Augment Agri-Food Value Chains
Enhancing access to reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable energy is crucial to support the development of the agri-food sector in the region, particularly for smallholder farmers in rural and remote areas. One of the major hindrances faced is that appropriate farming technologies across the value chain are either severely lacking in terms of access or completely missing from the value chain of products, services, and systems.
Efficient need-based productive use technology can improve productivity, improve incomes and maintain well-being by removal of drudgery, increase savings, and product diversification. Decentralisation presents the opportunity to maintain maximum value at a farm and farmer level. This combined with efforts to strengthen value chains via decentralised technologies can go a long way toward social, financial, and environmental sustainability of agri-food systems.
A value chain approach offers an analysis that breaks down the highly complex agri-food structures to determine various requirements at different stages, relevant stakeholders, and interlinkages. Importantly, using a value chain lens to assess energy needs and gaps enables the identification of the energy requirements at each stage, making a “whole-of-system” intervention possible and designed to unlock maximum value and benefits.