To enhance knowledge of smart renewable energy technologies for agricultural supply chains and increase the adoption of appropriate technologies, Mekong Institute (MI) organized a one-day training session on solar pumps for smallholder farmers in Cambodia on January 10, 2023. This online course was part of the “Sustainable and Smart Agricultural Supply Chain Development in Mekong Countries” project funded by the Mekong-Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF).
The one-day training was a follow-up to the course on “Smart Renewable Energy Technologies for Agricultural Supply Chains in the Mekong Region” which was held from November 21-25, 2022. Six technologies were introduced during the course, and the participants from each country were asked to select a technology they would like to focus on for their action plans.
“The World Bank reports that 80 percent of the world’s poor would benefit from improved agriculture because it can reduce poverty and improve food security — solar-powered water pumps provide a solution. These pumps improve food security, increase community wellness, and reduce poverty,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krailert Taweekul from the Agricultural Extension and System Approaches in Agriculture Program, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University, the resource person, in his presentation.
Through this intensive training, the participants learned about the solar water pump, its challenges and barriers, its application and operationalization, the different product type specifications and comparison, the social and environmental impacts, the current market situation and opportunity, cost-benefit analysis and return on investment, case study and future recommendations.
“A solar water pump system is an electrical pump system in which the electricity is generated by one or several PhotoVoltaic (PV) panels. Currently, Thailand has a high proportion of farmers who rely on solar pump systems. Using electricity from solar energy, farmers can reduce production costs and increase their profits,” added the professor.
Although this training is mainly designed for Cambodian participants, smallholders from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Thailand also joined the discussion.
At the end of the training, it is expected that more renewable energy technology will be adopted, which will significantly contribute to reducing energy consumption and developing efficient agricultural supply chains in the Mekong countries.