Senegal’s agriculture sector is set to receive a major boost from solar energy in the coming years.
Farmers in the west African country are excited about moves by the government to tap into the abundant sunshine the country enjoys.
Farming communities which hitherto had no access to electricity are now properly lit due to the provision of solar panels by the government to rural communities.
Our children used to study with candles or lamps at night but thanks to the solar power, everything has changed and we are very happy.
“This project has helped us overcome the difficulties we had because the wild animals used to come to the village at night. Since we had light, these animals have disappeared. Also, our children used to study with candles or lamps at night but thanks to the solar power, everything has changed and we are very happy,” said Ousmane N’Diaye, a farmer.
According to the National Agency for Renewable Energy, solar power could also be used to operate irrigation pumps on the farms.
Aziz Fall, a renewable energy expert explained that using the solar powered irrigation pumps “will allow them (farmers) to make considerable savings on cost and these solar pumps will work with the help of solar panels that will supply power.”
Beyond the rural areas, solar energy is a priority in Senegal as the president expects to see an increase in production for domestic use by 2017.