EGYPT – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Agricultural bank of Egypt (ABE) announced a partnership to help of Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar irrigation systems, reducing their reliance on diesel-powered generators and boosting their productivity.
Through the partnership, IFC will help ABE build capacity and design new financial products to enable Egyptian farmers, most of whom lack direct access to grid electricity, to purchase and install solar irrigation pumps.
“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 rationalize the use of resources, including energy, in the sector,” Sami Abdel Sadek, Deputy Chairman of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt said.
Using solar power for water pumping could potentially save farmers an estimated 14 billion Egyptian pounds (US$875 million) annually in diesel fuel costs, helping reduce greenhouse gas. ABE serves 4 million farmers in Egypt and is one of the country’s largest banks.
“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,” Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen said.
Under the Cleantech Entrepreneurship and Market Development Project, IFC is helping select financial institutions build their capacity to offer financing facilities for off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems in the agribusiness sector.
According to the protocol, the ABE will finance small and medium enterprises, as well as large corporates working in agricultural activities, livestock, poultry, and fishing. In addition, the bank will finance the purchase of agricultural machinery, modern irrigation systems, solar panels, and other requirements for production.