Powering Agriculture: Our Innovators
Follow the stories of Claro Energy, University of Georgia Research Foundation, and Futurepump, three Powering Agriculture innovators whose innovative solar irrigation and cold storage technologies have improved their communities’ livelihoods.

An Energy Grand Challenge for Development

To support economic growth and reduce extreme poverty and hunger in developing countries, Powering Agriculture supported innovators developing and deploying clean energy solutions within the agriculture sectors of developing countries.

Increasing the agricultural sector’s access to clean energy technologies will lead to increased incomes for farmers, decreased dependency of the agriculture sector on fossil fuels, and greater food security globally.

About Powering Agriculture

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development was a partnership of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Government of Germany (BMZ), Duke Energy Corporation, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). It was launched in 2012 to address needs at the intersection of the energy and agriculture sectors of the developing world. December 2019 marked the conclusion of its formal phase.

Through Powering Agriculture, the Founding Partners sought to support the development and deployment of clean energy innovations that stimulate low-carbon economic growth in the agriculture sectors of developing countries to help end extreme poverty and extreme hunger.

  • Final Report

    This final report presents the results achieved through Powering Agriculture’s approach to addressing the significant barriers facing the integration of clean energy technology in agricultural development. (PDF 21MB) Read the report

  • Final Program-Level Summative Evaluation and Innovators’ Assessment

    Powering Agriculture’s final evaluation takes stock of the program’s accomplishments after six years of implementation, and the assessment examines the extent to which the program promoted innovation and delivered impact. (PDF 2MB) Read the evaluation

Our Approach

Powering Agriculture utilized a cross sectoral nexus approach to concurrently focus on the energy and agricultural sectors through the following components:

  • Technology and business model innovation grants and research-based pilots
  • Increasing access to financing through Powering Agriculture Investment Alliance
  • Mainstreaming the importance of energy in agriculture
  • Knowledge management and sharing of analyses, best practices, and lessons learned in the nexus
  • Powering Agriculture Technology Case Studies

    Review the suite of case studies informed by real innovator experiences and the latest news and research related to agro-processing, cold storage, and micro-grid technologies in the clean energy-agriculture nexus. Explore technology resources

  • Gender Integration Guides

    Powering Agriculture’s gender guides focus on integrating gender into the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for agricultural sectors to better serve women—an important, often overlooked market segment. Explore gender resources

Our Innovators

Powering Agriculture issued global calls for innovation in 2012 and 2014 to source clean energy solutions within agricultural value chain that:

  • Enhanced agricultural yields/productivity;
  • Decreased post-harvest loss;
  • Improved farmer and agribusiness income generating opportunities and revenues; or
  • Increased energy efficiency and associated savings within farms and agribusinesses, while stimulating low-carbon economic growth within the agriculture sectors of developing countries.

Powering Agriculture provided innovation grants to 24 organizations to design, pilot, and deploy clean energy solutions. The organizations implemented activities in 22 countries over the course of the Grand Challenge.

The Powering Agriculture Investment Alliance

The Investment Alliance will catalyze a minimum of $25 million in private sector finance for ventures with the potential to achieve transformational development impact in the clean energy-agriculture nexus.

  • Finance Resources

    Powering Agriculture’s holistic approach included efforts to address critical finance barriers to innovation and scaling, whose findings have been published for use in the clean energy-agriculture nexus. Explore finance resources

  • Policy Resources

    Powering Agriculture produced several useful tools for innovators and other clean energy-agriculture nexus stakeholders to understand and overcome policy and regulatory barriers facing clean energy technology solutions for agricultural use. Explore policy resources

Our Results

Powering Agriculture’s achievements changed lives in smallholder farming communities across four continents. They were a product of the work of many entities, including its innovators, partners, and the Investment Alliance.