FG installs 100-kilowatt mini solar grid in Ogun farm village

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The Federal Government through the Rural Electrification Agency has installed a 100-kilowatt solar-powered mini-grid system for farmers at Eriwe farm village, in the Odogbolu Local Government area of Ogun state.

The farm, sitting on over 156 hectares of land was owned by the Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction led by Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Kayode Adetona.

The farm, noted for poultry, piggery, and fishery, boasts annual fish sales above N 2.5 billion and is said to be the largest fish farm in terms of tonnage and market in West Africa.

Speaking with journalists after the inspection, REA Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, said the project was part of REA’s policies on the alleviation of poverty especially around the agricultural sector.

Ahmad, a renewable energy advocate, said the farm was chosen for its one-per geopolitical zone project in the South West.

He added that the project would reduce cost and reliance on fuel to power-pumping machines by the fish farmers as the fuel subsidy has been removed.

He said “What we have seen here is a 100-kilowatt system, powering the agricultural setting under the Ijebu Development Community Programme for poverty alleviation.

“Beyond the mini-grid being powered, this inspection is to see what is the best use of the power that we have provided here.

“The project is part of our pragmatic approach to budgeting that we have been doing in the last couple of years where we are looking at alleviation of poverty especially around the agricultural sector. We have one in each of the geopolitical zones.

“Beyond the mini-grid being powered, this inspection is to see what is the best use of the power that we have provided here.

“The project is part of our pragmatic approach to budgeting that we have been doing in the last couple of years where we are looking at alleviation of poverty especially around the agricultural sector. We have one in each of the geopolitical zones.

“This is 100 kilowatts and I am hearing that it is only powering 10 percent and so essentially, it means we are talking about one megawatt. In terms of the payment, it is not going to be free because this is something the government has done as a proof of concept so that we can create that environment for private developers to expand upon it.”

He noted that the subscription fee would be determined by the stakeholders in such a way that it would be affordable to the farmers.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers in the village, the President of the Farmer Aquaculture Union, Eriwe Farm Village, Quadri Oriyomi said the project would relieve the farmers.

He stated that after subsidy removal, farmers have been finding it difficult to run their pumping machines due to the N500 pump price.

He said “The project can only cover 10 percent because the land here is over 156 hectares where we have over 500 farmers.

“We have about 42 groups and in each group, we have over 30 people. They said is just like a sample to test-run how it is going to go around so that everybody will benefit.

“By the time you calculate it, this will just take care of 40 ponds, I mean 40 pumping machines out of over 200 pumping machines. We have agreed to subscribe to solar power with a minimum price that is not going to affect the farmers.

“We appeal that they expand solar power to make other farmers benefit so that it won’t lead to beefing. For instance, some farmers will be enjoying solar while others will be using fuel, which may cause a crisis.”