Solar Energy Irrigation Systems

SPIS Training opportunity (second intake)

From May to July 2020, GBE Benin reacted to the COVID-19 lockdown in the country by taking their training activities online; partner solar companies were offered access to a web-based training course on solar powered irrigation.

In Benin, GBE promotes solar irrigation through a Results-Based Financing (RBF) incentive program, which was launched in 2020. Most of the solar companies in Benin already possess a good level of knowledge on the installation of household solar and electrical systems, but only limited knowledge on solar pumping and irrigation systems. This training opportunity was planned to strengthen solar companies’ knowledge and awareness, while making use of a period with reduced economic activity due to COVID-19.

The course was developed by the GIZ program, Powering Agriculture, and the University of Ostfalia. The regular course is available under http://spis-elearning.eu, open for everybody and free of charge. For those who are interested should contact GBE.Benin@giz.de and Sossou Sheitan, sheitan.sossou@giz.de. The registration period is from 20 October to 05 November 2020 and the course and exam submission period is from 06 November to 25 December 2020. The target group of this training are students, persons working with solar irrigation or those that work with solar energy in general with little or non-expert knowledge on solar-powered irrigation systems.

Together with the University of Ostfalia, GBE created a Challenge Benin group: employees of solar companies and government partners who were eligible participate in the course with a competition mindset. The course can be followed from anywhere either with a computer, tablet or cellular phone and can be interrupted whenever necessary – meaning that the course is self-paced. In total the course lasts 30 to 40 hours and at the end of the training the participants perform a test consisting of 20 multiple choice questions and a case study on the design of a solar irrigation pump for a fictional client in Benin. The results were evaluated by the GBE Benin Team and the 50 top participants finishing the course within a timeframe of two months receive a prize of 30,000 CFA (equivalent of 45€) as a contribution for their internet costs. The feedback on this training was very positive and more than 50 participants registered in Benin to follow this course.