The Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) programme, is delighted to announce that VOLT-TERRA Farm and Energy Solutions Ltd has been awarded €250,000 to provide cost-effective and reliable electricity to local communities, whilst simultaneously unlocking their economic potential in the process.
VOLT-TERRA is a joint venture between Gourmet Gardens (U) Ltd. and INENSUS GmbH. The partnership aims to increase the profitability of mini-grids in agricultural value chains in Uganda, by applying the cutting-edge KeyMaker Model (KMM). The KMM is based on utilising the mini-grid electricity to establish a local agro-processing project, the revenues of which are an additional income stream for the mini-grid operator. In addition, the project creates an end-market for the local farmers to sell their produce.
To do so, VOLT-TERRA supports the production of vanilla and bird’s eye chillies and will become the supply-chain manager of these local products for export to value-added markets.
The proposed location of the pilot phase of the project is in the sub-county Bbaale in central Uganda, which has a population of about 17,000 people and where the primary source of economic activity is agriculture and forestry. Farmers are restricted in growing crops, and often suffer from price exploitation, due to a lack of access to energy and high unemployment rates. Through the KMM, VOLT-TERRA is addressing these challenges by providing sustainable, reliable and affordable energy and agro-processing services to empower rural communities.
VOLT-TERRA is the latest project to receive grant funding to develop its high-potential project. In May 2021, nine other pioneering African businesses were awarded a total of €1.36m to pilot new approaches or expand their existing business models, which are set to stimulate clean energy uptake and, in doing so, improve livelihoods and reduce poverty.
PREO is a multi-million Euro productive use of energy (PUE) programme co-funded by the IKEA Foundation and UK aid, and delivered by Carbon Trust and Energy 4 Impact. PREO recognises that, while increased energy access is vital to improve livelihoods in rural Africa, this alone is not enough to transform economies. So PREO aims to boost demand for clean energy as a way of creating sustainable jobs, growing economies, reducing poverty and empowering women.