The Bangladeshi Government is to give farmers with solar powered irrigation pumps, after signing a $10 million (£6.2 million) deal with the World Bank.
More than 1,300 solar pumps will be installed as part of the project, which will mainly be financed by the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF).
The limited electrical grid in Bangladesh means many farmers rely of diesel to power irrigation pumps. However the supply is often erratic and costly and imports put pressure on the country’s foreign exchange. The solar pumps are expected to save $3.2 million (£1.97 million) of foreign currency and cut carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes every year.
Private sponsors will be responsible for installing, operating and maintaining the pumps as well as providing 20% of the pump costs as equity. The remaining 80% will come from the BCCRF (50%) in grants and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank (30%) in cut-price loans. The BCCRF will provide $10 million (£6.2 million) in grants for the first phase of the project and $24.5 million (£15.2 million) overall.
Christine Kimes, Acting Head of the World Bank Bangladesh said: “The project will contribute to improve farmers’ livelihoods, increase climate change resilience of the agriculture sector and strengthen food security.”
The world is facing a “collective crisis” of climate change, farming and poverty according to a recent UN report.