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Introduction to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus by PAEGC


Welcome to the Powering Agriculture MOOC
on “Sustainable Energy for Food”! We are very happy to have you here. The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
is implemented by the international initiative “Powering Agriculture:
An Energy Grand Challenge for Development” Within that initiative, USAID, the governments of Sweden and Germany, as well as Duke Energy and OPIC promote clean energy solutions in the
agriculture and food sector. For the MOOC, the Partners
are co-operating with TH Köln, a University of Applied Science based in Cologne, Germany. In this Video, the Partners of the PoweringAg initiative point out the challenges of the Energy-Food Nexus, why they joined the initiative, what the initiative has reached so far, and why they initiated this MOOC. We have to end hunger and malnutrition. We have to increase productivity in agriculture, in particular smallholder agriculture, and we have to lower the impact of
agriculture on the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. People need access to food.
People need access to energy. In particular, we need clean energy options to
produce more and produce better food. One third of the global total energy consumption is used
for the production and the processing of food. This is an enormous amount. We need to raise the awareness for this potential that the productivity in agriculture and
food production can be increased by tackling this energy issue. When it comes down to these challenges
in the Energy-Ag Nexus, it comes down to three main points: Being able to get financing the Innovators need to actually get their products out into the field, being able to understand that energy and water users are just other customers than farmers, and being able to actually get their products and ideas out into the field to actually help these guys achieve their overall goals. The challenge to find really solutions that can be scaled up so we can reach more people but also that are locally adapted and inclusive so that we can get more people included in the development. So it’s really a two-fold challenge: Produce more but use less energy. One of the things that USAID realizes is that in order to actually help farmers and agribusinesses
get access to clean energy solutions we need to provide additional seed funding to innovativors to actually help them design their ideas, scale it, and actually get it out into the field. We realized that if we’re not giving them this capital they won’t be able to succeed. so that’s one of the reasons why USAID is partnering with the governments of Sweden, Germany, OPIC and Duke Energy to fund this grand challenge to pool our resources so we can help these innovators get access to capital they need to actually bring modern energy services
to farmers and agribusinesses. The very special thing about this project is that we bring together
agricultural experts and energy experts and our experience after two years of implementation of this project is that this process of fostering cross-sector cooparation is very fruitful. We really learn from each other. To reach new actors to try
to really catalyze this development, to see what ideas, what innovative solutions
are right there that we can support and
that we can try to help to reach scale. The initiative is a great way
to forge new forms of partnerships between public agencies and private sector enterprises from all over the world. We want to improve nutrition, we want to strengthen innovation, and we want – in the end – we want to save the
planet. A particular focus is on strengthening
knowledge generation and knowledge Transfer, on producing more food with less energy. That is where our initiative,
the ” ONE WOLRD No Hunger” Initiative of Germany, of the BMZ, and this international Powering Agriculture initiative come together. There is a very strong link. It works to translate great innovations
into sustained economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. It has made awards to 24 projects so far, and we hope that more projects will follow. We’ve got examples from our Innovators like “EarthSpark International”: They just turned on the first mini-grid in Haiti,
back in June of this year. Now they’re providing power to the citizens of Les Anglais, Haiti, as well as getting power out to the food processing factories in Haiti, as well as supplying power to a lot of the commercial businesses, homes and restaurants. From the first call for proposal where we had of course many great proposals, to this second call, where we actually expanded and had eight hundred proposals coming in. It’s also to say that we have succeeded in sort of making a case for this Nexus. It’s a great learning for us as well
because we have learned how to work with different actors
as a development agency. Let me just give you one example: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is working together with us and has just
finalized the study and analysis on the energy needs of three may major value chains: they are rice, milk and vegetables. So, they are really jumping on the topic
and promoting it, and they have really good network, because all governments of the world are members of the FAO. This massive open online course (MOOC)
is open to everyone. So, if you would like toparticipate in it – you’re welcome! Everyone who’s interested in the topic
and would like to deepen his understanding of the challenges of the Energy-Agriculture Nexus should join this course and subscribe to it. It gives you a great sort of background that you can then spin-off your own ideas from. It gives you a sense what is out there,
what ideas are out there, what is already tested so that you don’t have to
reinvent the wheel again, but to actually get a sense of what knowledge is out there, what expertise can I use for my own ideas or
what is needed in the market today. Everybody participating in this can become
a member of a large group of experts working for the Energy-Food Nexus for future development. Participants can benefit from the experience of scientists and other experts in the field of energy and agriculture. They can learn about different clean energy options, they can explore possible applications of clean energy technologies in agricultural value chains, they can learn about economic and political aspects of the Energy-Food Nexus, and they can exchange ideas and knowledge with an
international network of like-minded fellow participants. If you’re excited about innovation, if you’re excited about learning from
the greatest minds in the world, you should join this massive open online course. This course is designed to allow for practitioners, Innovators, entrepreneurs as well as policy makers, and just the average person at home that has an interest in this technology and wants to understand better how to design these systems, get them out into the field, and really help change lives – this course is for you! Thank you for your attention and see you
next week!

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