专家问&A: Jeannelle布兰查德 Discusses the Nexus between Energy, 农业, and Water in Developing Countries to Increase Food Production
Jeannelle布兰查德, vice president in Tetra技术’s International Development Services group, has more than 25 years of progressive project management experience on donor-funded projects. 在她最初的10年里, she worked on energy efficiency and energy conservation issues in the tourism sector. Since 2009 she has worked on power sector reform, utility improvement, and clean energy projects. Jeannelle has played a management role on more than 20 U.S. Agency for International Development (美国ID) contracts and has extensive experience in the full life cycle of project management. She has served as a resident advisor on multimillion-dollar 美国ID-funded projects and has undertaken short-term assignments in multiple developing countries. 作为党的领导, Jeannelle led a team to support the Powering 农业: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development that funded 24 organizations deploying clean energy solutions for the agriculture sector in developing countries, 包括冷藏, 太阳能灌溉系统, 混合动力的处理器, 以及分散电力的微型电网.
Jeannelle holds a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from George Mason University.
What is the energy-water-agriculture (ag) nexus, and why is it important to consider in the context of empowering rural and vulnerable populations in developing countries?
The energy-water-ag nexus describes the linkages between water scarcity, 能源安全, 和食品安全, which are all pivotal to sustainable development for rural and vulnerable communities. Increased agricultural productivity and climate resiliency is a key driver of food security, 创收, and improved quality of life in rural and vulnerable populations in developing countries. As the wealth and population of the world grow, so does the need to feed it. This need arises against a backdrop of water scarcity exacerbated by unsustainable agricultural practices and an increase in extreme weather events. Nearly 30 percent of total global energy consumption goes towards meeting food demand, 特别是在新兴国家. The agriculture sector is reliant on ways to improve energy and water efficiency while increasing productivity. This sector is both the source of sustenance and the source of employment for 2.5 billion people globally, primarily in emerging economies in 亚洲 and 非洲.
Why are we seeing a coordinated effort to develop the agricultural sectors of developing countries?
大小, 复杂性, and global nature of the energy-water-ag nexus challenge requires a concerted effort, including varying perspectives and resources. 最近, there has been a major focus on supporting private sector-led solutions due to the creativity, 灵活性, and potential for positive impact on local communities that these enterprises can provide. 政府, 捐助者, and civil society can help provide funding to de-risk market entry, 技术援助, 政策及规管建议, 和其他专业知识. 作为一个结果, we are seeing a coordinated effort by governments, 捐助者, 公民社会组织, and private companies to mobilize resources and combine expertise toward the single goal of increasing food 生产 through sustainable and efficient water and energy usage.
How can energy-water-ag technologies specifically benefit women in developing countries?
Women make up a significant portion of the agricultural labor force in developing countries but are generally less able to participate in economic opportunities. 她们面临着男性所没有的工作负担, 比如抚养孩子, 家务, 缺乏融资渠道, 以及小型牲畜管理. 在南亚和东南亚, about 47 percent of agricultural workers are women and in certain countries the figure is more than 70 percent. 在农村地区, 农业加工任务，比如铣削, 光栅, and hulling are commonly done through manual labor. This highlights the importance of a woman’s availability in determining how much time can be allocated to collecting water and firewood and preparing food. Deployment of energy-water-ag technologies presents the opportunity to not only render economic benefits such as adding value to crops, 为家庭节省时间, and increasing the shelf life of certain agricultural products, but also can be a source of social benefits and empowerment. Women can use freed up time for new 创收 activities and household responsibilities and can experience alleviation of gender-based violence because of greater food security.
What are current technology trends in the energy-water-ag sector that Tetra技术 observes and supports through its work?
在撒哈拉以南非洲和南亚, we are supporting various innovative solutions that address the energy-water-ag nexus. These include solar-powered hydroponics and irrigation (drip and pumping); hydro-powered irrigation; advanced water use and seed monitoring services; solar- or biogas-powered cold storage and dryers; micro-grids for fish hatcheries; passive aeration systems for aquaculture; and various hybrid systems, 包括混合动力的拖拉机. These solutions also integrate services such as remote monitoring, Uber-like scheduling of services through mobile applications, 移动货币, 以及各种现收现付模式(例如.g., rent-to-own, leasing, service for fee, and agricultural extension support). They make energy and water more accessible for agricultural purposes, 而且效率也提高了.
End users of these energy-water-ag solutions, 到目前为止, 报告收入增加, 生产, and sales; valuable time savings; extension of the shelf life of agricultural products; reduced agricultural losses; and additional economic activities due to the generated power. 例如, we have observed that smallholder farmers in South and Southeast 亚洲 that use solar photovoltaic powered agricultural processing equipment can benefit from significant increases in income relative to using traditional diesel-powered equipment.
What has Tetra技术’s experience been in this space?
With more than 40 years of proven expertise in this space, Tetra技术 has the combination of deep technical knowledge of the energy-water-ag nexus, extensive experience implementing activities in the nexus in various regions in the world, and the knowledge of our regionally based practitioners. 最近，利达中国十大彩票网支持全球 Powering 农业 Energy Grand Challenge (PAEGC) to help source, deploy, and scale clean energy-water-ag nexus technologies. 6年之后, PAEGC helped develop 59 clean energy technologies and business models, 影响65,116年的受益者, 帮助动员68美元.8 million, and reduced 超过18,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. We also have been supporting nexus companies through our work with Power 非洲 for the last 6 years, resulting in 技术援助 for 122 companies, 超过1.14 million new off-grid electricity connections, and more than $60 million mobilized.
We are excited to continue our work in the water-energy-ag nexus with the 水和能源用于粮食 (WE4F):发展的重大挑战, which is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 荷兰外交部, 瑞典, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, 和美国国际开发署. WE4F aims to accelerate innovations operating in the water-energy-ag nexus globally in order to increase food 生产 along the value chain, 增加贫困男女的收入, and promote climate and environmental resilience and biodiversity.
How does your work in the energy-water-ag sector differentiate Tetra技术 as an international development partner?
Work in the nexus requires our team to have global and local experts with cross-sectoral experience in energy that intersects with technology development, 融资渠道, 性别的集成, 以及与此相关的政策专家. Many of our experts have firsthand in-country practical experience piloting these technologies and grappling with these challenges in developing countries. Last year, we consolidated innovator learnings in 技术和商业模式案例研究 on micro-grids and productive agricultural uses, 清洁能源冷库, 清洁能源农产品加工, and guides on access to financing for innovators and navigating policy and regulation. 与WE4F, we are excited to continue this work with an even greater emphasis on gender equality, 环境可持续性, 以及金字塔客户的基础.
How will COVID-19 impact the water-energy-ag nexus?
Looking back at the 2008 financial crisis in the 美国, market contractions in both credit (lending) and equity (投资) dried up for businesses globally. A paper produced by our team under Powering 农业, "Access to Finance for Early Stage Innovators in the Clean Energy 农业 Nexus," identifies these market contractions as having a disproportionate impact on small and emerging companies.
COVID-19 presents a global market disruption that exposes startups—particularly venture-based enterprises—to an overall drop in demand and 投资. Some portfolio companies may need different forms of capital from what they expected a short time ago. Existing nexus companies may not be able to endure a slowdown or halt in operations due to a loss of customers, and investors may be more risk-averse than before as current investees and future pipeline may have lost value and government officials may become less focused on nexus priorities. Through our work on WE4F and other projects, we will aim to keep the nexus front and center of technology, 投资, 和政策对话.