USAID Announces Winners of $13 Million Clean Tech Award for "Powering Agriculture"

The awards will support innovative projects aimed at integrating clean energy technology into the agriculture sectors of developing countries.

WASHINGTON (December 11, 2013) – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development, in partnership with the Swedish Government, Duke Energy Corporation, the German Government, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, announced the 12 organizations that will collectively receive $13 million in funding under Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development. The awards will support innovative projects aimed at integrating clean energy technology into the agriculture sectors of developing countries.

Selected from a pool of 475 applications – 55 percent from developing countries – the winning organizations will design and deploy market-based, clean energy solutions for agricultural production in developing countries. These technologies will enable farmers to increase production and the value of agricultural goods through a focus on improving irrigation, on-farm mechanization, agro-processing, and cold storage – all while bolstering low-carbon economic growth. The winning innovators and the countries in which they will implement their projects are:

iDE. International Development Enterprises (Honduras, Nepal, and Zambia): Clean energy technology that can access groundwater from deeper depths than conventional engine pumps and maintaining a slow, steady discharge rate throughout the day.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University (Senegal): Smart-metered, micro-solar utility that provides a scalable, affordable, and flexible energy and water delivery service model for groups farmers using an AC pump for irrigation.

Camco Advisory Services (Benin and Tanzania): Sustainable, portable, carbon neutral, cost-effective energy from crop waste. The plant produces mechanical, electrical, and thermal energy for uses including: fruit drying, coconut, coffee, and coca processing, soap production, hulling and parboiling rice, lumber processing, water purification, pasteurization, and more.

EarthSpark International (Haiti): Smart, micro-grid powered by 90% photovoltaic electricity to provide access to electricity and value-added processing for agricultural goods to create higher margin products with a long shelf life.

ECO Consult (Jordan): Integrated model of hydroponic and solar-powered farming that uses dramatically less water than conventional farming. It offers an excellent opportunity for farmers (both commercial and small household) in water-scarce regions to increase their income while reducing water use.

Motivo Engineering (India): Provides electricity storage and transformation units that can connect to clean energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, water turbines, and formal electricity grids to dramatically increase agricultural productivity.

African Bamboo (Ethiopia): Environmentally friendly thermal modification process that will virtually eliminate decay factors such as rot, insects, and warping while yielding a stable, fast-growing, and eco-friendly substitute for wood materials.

SunDanzer Refrigeration (Kenya): Solar-powered cold chain solution that chills milk immediately and through its transport, and also at milk collection centers before it is shipped to dairy processors.

Promethean Power Systems (India): Thermal energy battery pack, which fully charges on solar power and/or a few hours of grid electricity to provide cold-chain storage around the clock without consistent access to grid electricity.

University of Georgia Research Foundation (Uganda): Uses cow manure as a renewable-energy source to power milk coolers to expand farmers' marketable dairy products at a low cost and with little complexity.

REbound Technology (Mozambique): Off-grid solar refrigeration system that is the first developing world technology to reliably remove field heat without consistent, high-cost electrical supply.

Experience International (Indonesia): Low-cost, solar powered cold-chain that virtually eliminates costly and frequent maintenance issues for cold storage and ice making near fishing ports.

"Powering Agriculture: A Grand Challenge for Development demonstrates how we can harness ingenuity and entrepreneurship to generate and scale real solutions in our fight to end extreme poverty. Joining a community of hundreds of innovators working across five different Grand Challenges, today's winning ideas prove that we can change the landscape of what is possible in development," said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

The announcement took place at a Development Exchange in Washington, D.C., where winners showcased their projects, and discussed the impact they plan to achieve through the introduction of their new technologies in emerging markets. The Development Exchange also comprised speeches by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States Bjorn Lyrvall, and African inventor Kelvin Doe. Video messages were provided by thought leaders such as chef and social entrepreneur Jose Andres.

Powering Agriculture, launched in 2012, is a program designed to link renewable energy technologies with farmers and agribusinesses in low-income countries. Increasing their access to clean energy solutions empowers farmers to produce more and better quality food and products, and move that food to more distant markets. These advancements feed families, build businesses, and empower communities with affordable, sustainable, and market-based solutions.

To learn more about the Powering Agriculture Round 1 awardees go to:

For additional information, contact: USAID Press Office:

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