A Research Agenda for Planning and Financing Nexus Development Objectives in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa
29 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2022
In rural sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) – the global poverty hotspot – the vast majority of cropland is rainfed only, resulting in limited and unstable yields. Smallholder farmers account for 80% of agricultural production but they have limited access to relevant services to support both commercial operations and their livelihoods: less than one in three dwellers have electricity (crucial for crop irrigation, processing, and storage) and about 40% have no access to clean water. Previous research has analysed integrated technological and resource management approaches to tackle these overlapping development gaps. Thus, it is now crucial to understand the business and investment implications to allow financing and implementing such technological transformations in resource-constrained settings, also considering the strong regional population growth and the increasing frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Here, we lay out a research agenda that promotes the integration of multi-scale modelling excellence along the climate-water-energy-agriculture-development nexus and the creation of robust business models for private companies that can sustainably support private smallholder farmers of SSA in their effort to eradicate poverty and inequality. The proposed agenda is a cornerstone of the EC-H2020 project LEAP-RE RE4AFAGRI (“ Renewable Energy for African Agriculture: Integrating Modelling Excellence and Robust Business Models” ).
Keywords: rural development, water-energy-food-economy nexus, sustainable business models, energy access, renewable energy
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