Farmers in Senegal Harvest Benefits of Masdar Wind Farm
Farmers in Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal, are able to harvest crops during the dry season and sell produce at a revamped local market, thanks to Masdar.
Until now, farmers like Fatima Ndiaye have suffered from failed harvests because of the long dry season when the area can go without rain for up to four months.
Every year, our harvests failed because, without water, our seeds wouldn’t grow, she says.
Life was very difficult for me and my family.
But through its African joint venture, Infinity Power, Masdar is installing 100 free solar-powered water pumps for farmers in the surrounding area of the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm, so they can irrigate crops all year around.
Completed in 2021, the 160MW Taiba N’Diaye wind farm supplies electricity to 1.5m people in Senegal and has provided a 15% increase in electricity generation capacity for the country.
The landmark project provides much needed clean and economically priced energy into the rapidly expanding local grid system and is helping reduce the cost of electricity generation in Senegal, which has one of the highest generation costs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Moustapha Thiam, General Manager at the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm, notes that “irrigation is the biggest challenge” during the dry season.
In order to assist them in those big challenges, we are working on a large scale irrigation project to help them improve their livelihoods during the dry season, he adds.
He says that the solar pumps “are changing these people’s live in many ways. With the solar pumps that we have provided them for free they can irrigate whenever they want to. They are able to do work on the farms throughout the year.”
Ahmed Mulla, Deputy CEO at Infinity Power, reveals that the company has also invested in a revamping of the local market through its environmental, social, governance initiatives.
Fatima Ndiaye welcomes the revamp. The market has helped us a lot, she says.
Before, there were no more markets because everything was damaged. Now, traders have returned. The effects are very noticeable, according to Thiam.
You can tell by speaking to those women, by meeting with their families, their children now don’t have a problem having school supplies, he says, because their mothers have these ways of generating income steadily and also they’re creating more value to the products they’re making.
Fatima Ndiaye is very grateful for what Masdar and Infinity have achieved for her area. We can now harvest all year around, she says. We can take our produce to market. We now have hope of a better life. Infinity and Masdar have helped us to improve our lives.