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Sh31.8b Project To Boost Energy Efficiency In Agriculture

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A sh31.8b project has been launched to increase the adoption of energy-efficient products and services in agriculture.

The Inclusive Markets for Energy Efficiency in Uganda (IMUE) project will run for four years thanks to funding from the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), the Makerere University College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology, and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda.

The project is aimed at increasing the large-scale transition to clean and affordable energy for all and will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as well as other actors in the energy sector.

According to Phomolo Maphosa, the Country Director of SNV, the program is designed to be as inclusive and extensive as possible so that when it comes to an end, energy efficiency becomes embedded in everyday life and business activity.

She said the IMEU interventions will be embedded in the two sectors of agriculture and the inbuilt environment and that their selection was based on the potential and opportunities that the two sectors present in terms of enhancing energy efficiency towards improved productivity, competitiveness, and resilience.

Close to 90% of the population in Uganda cooks on open fires or inefficient cook stoves, causing significant health risks and damage to the environment due to harmful emissions and deforestation.

“The project will adopt a triple-helix model as its implementation model, which will involve key stakeholders from policymakers, the private sector and industry, academia, and civil society. “It provides additional co-benefits to increase trust and social capital, both of which are important factors that can promote growth and contribute to improved governance,” she said.

Maphosa noted that embracing energy efficiency as an integrated, cost-effective option can help achieve an inclusive, low-carbon, and climate-resilient development that supports people and businesses to thrive in a changing climate.

While agriculture contributes 24% of Uganda’s GDP and its growth is projected to increase from 3.8% to 7%, in the NDP III there is little mention of the energy efficiency factor, yet it is critical to achieving this growth.

In his remarks, Ola Hallgren, the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden, noted that to increase access to clean and reliable energy in Uganda, it is important to have a holistic approach and involve stakeholders at every level.

“We are pleased to support a project that brings a variety of actors together, actors that share a common objective, which is to ensure energy is used more efficiently by small and large consumers alike.”

According to Peace Kansiime, the Project Coordinator, during the four years, the project will directly benefit 30,000 households, 328 SMEs, 52 social institutions, and 15 energy service companies, and at least 450,000 individuals will be indirectly positively impacted.

She said the key target areas are in agriculture with a focus on agribusiness and farmers’ cooperatives and in the built environment with a focus on households, businesses, and institutions, including selected value chains such as dairy, tea, cereals, oil crops, and horticulture in different agricultural ecological zones, rural communities, and cities.

“IMEU will contribute to climate resilience and mitigation, the competitiveness of business, and a reduction in health risks in the built environment and agribusiness,” Kansiime added.

She said that to achieve a sustained impact, IMEU will deploy a well-balanced mix of financial and technical support to the energy efficiency markets through the project’s core component known as the market development fund.

“The market development fund is a sh7.8b funding facility that is aimed at piloting innovative models for supplying and adopting energy-efficient technologies and services as well as growing and attracting private capital for sustained impact beyond the project period, which will run until November 2025,” she said.

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