Horti-Nigeria, a project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands has provided 10 solar powered irrigation pumps to farmers in Kano, Ogun, Kaduna and Oyo state.
Since 2021, the Dutch-funded initiative has been a cornerstone in fostering a sustainable and inclusive horticulture sector, enhancing food and nutrition security across 10 local government areas in the four benefiting states.
The HortiNigeria programme director, Mohammed Salasi in a statement to commemorate International Clean Energy Day, noted that the eco-friendly technology is not only a testament to HortiNigeria’s commitment to environmental stewardship but also a practical solution to two critical challenges in agriculture which include; limited water access and the rising costs of fuel for irrigation.
He stated that with focus on cabbage, cucumber, okro, tomatoes, pepper, carrots, watermelon, sweetcorn value chains, the programme has distributed 10 high-capacity solar irrigation pumps and educated over 50,000 farmers in sustainable practices,saying they have not only streamlined agricultural productivity but significantly reduced the carbon footprint of farming activities.
Salasi explained that as the programme progresses, they plan to expand the initiative and called on the federal, state, and local governments to join in promoting renewable energy for a sustainable agricultural future.
A farmer Kubura Ali from Garko LGA mentioned that they now enjoy the dual benefits of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable irrigation, moving away from the traditional, fuel-dependent methods.
She said that the solar-powered pumps have revolutionised farming while reducing costs and increasing efficiency”.
Similarly, Ifeoluwa Oyeyemi, a HortiNigeria Business Champion and Agripreneur from Ibadan, Oyo state, acknowledged “These pumps have brought reliable energy, transforming fieldwork and ability to scale innovations to other farmers in the community.”
Professor Isaac Aiyelaagbe of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB maintained that the introduction of solar-powered irrigation is a game-changer that’s shaping the student-community’s farming practices and educational curriculum towards environmental sustainability and .”
The HortiNigeria programme which span from 2021-2025, is implemented in collaboration with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, and Wageningen University and Research dedicated to pioneering sustainable solutions for Nigerian agriculture.