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Information
  • Submitted by: Benin
  • Topic: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
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  • Location: Benin
  • Date of completion: 2005
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Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Green economy policies, practices and initiatives
Solar Drip Irrigation
Description/achievement of initiative

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) organization partners with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, and has devised a combination of solar-powered water pumps with drip irrigation tubes. By doing this, water and fertilizers can be supplied to plants even throughout the six-month dry season, allowing large plots of vegetables to be grown year-round.
Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011


In mid 2000s, the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) organization partnered with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics and devised a combination of solar-powered water pumps with drip irrigation tubes. By doing this, water and fertilizers can be supplied to plants even throughout the six-month dry season, allowing large plots of vegetables to be grown year-round. Solar energy systems are purchased by villagers through microcredit financing. Each family pays for its own system and participates in the ownership of community systems, spreading development funds further to help more people.


The benefits of the projects are as follows:

  • Improved food security;

  • Improved nutrition: In villages irrigated with solar-powered systems, vegetable intake increased to three to five servings per day;

  • Improved income security: women are earning an extra $7.50 per week from the sale of fresh produce at the local market;

  • Reduced time spent collecting water for women;

  • Prevention of greenhouse gas emissions from reduction in inefficient agricultural practices;

  • Increased market opportunities for solar energy.


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