A new Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) has been unveiled by the Ho Technical University in the Volta region.

The €143,000 SPIS facility is a component project under the German International Corporation Agency’s (GIZ) funded Green People’s Energy Project in partnership with the Ministry of Energy (MoE).

The facility consists of a solar-powered pumping system, water reservoir of two 300 cubic litres, sprinklers, drip and spray tubes over about a three-acre farmland.

The project is a proposed initiative that forms part of the global programme by the German Federal Ministry of Economics Cooperation Development (BMZ) aimed at promoting the use of modern alternative sustainable renewable energy technologies for citizens and businesses and also to improve the conditions for supplying selected rural regions and areas with renewable energy in the country.

The project is also aimed at enhancing the capacity of experts on the installation of SPIS to boost agriculture production and yields for national development.

Signing of MoU

The Ho Technical University having signed an MoU with GIZ in the area of renewal energy, under the Green People’s Energy Project with technical support from Practical Foundation Netherlands, became the only Technical University in Ghana to have met the selection criteria for the implementation of the project.

As a result, the University made available a 4-acre land for the installation of the irrigation facility at the University’s demonstration farm for the commencement of the project.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony of the facility, the Vice-Chancellor of HTU, Prof. Ben Q Honyenuga reiterated the University’s commitment to deepening skills-based training in sustainable energy for which it is collaborating with a German University to introduce a programme in Energy Engineering and Resource Optimization.

Prof. Honyenuga added that the SPIS facility would serve as a demonstration centre for the training of students, technicians and smallholder farmers across the region.

The Project Manager for GIZ, Mr. Rafael Wiese in his remarks said the project is being undertaken in nine (9) African countries including Ghana.

According to him, the project is being rolled out simultaneously in two other Universities; the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) and the University of Development Studies with the objective to train people and improve knowledge on installation services to farmers.

He said, “Here in Ghana, a few farmers are engaged in irrigation farming and the rely on diesel to power their system but you know diesel prices are coming up and it comes at a lot of cost, so we think that solar energy is a good option and on the long run also, financially viable.”

“Here in Ho Technical University, what we have installed is for training purposes and also because the University already has several pieces of training on solar energy. Again, we chose here because they already have very skilled facilitators,” he added.

Access to regular supply of water -all year round, remains a difficult task for farmers especially those in rural Ghana who depend solely on rain water for their farming activities.

For those who engage in irrigation farming, renewal energy technologies especially, solar photovoltaic powered irrigation systems are fast becoming a go-to option.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5fm/Faisel Abdul-Iddrisu