GTI Provides Solar Statistics for Agriculture to assist Agribusiness

The Agricultural industry has been severely affected by Load Shedding, especially on centre pivot irrigation fields, chicken batteries, fruit packing houses, and food processing. In South Africa, approximately 10% of the 14 million hectares of cultivated fields and orchards are irrigated and produce 30 % of the agricultural products in South Africa. The high incidence of load shedding in the past summer caused tremendous interruptions in the power supply, with the effect that farmers could not irrigate optimally and efficiently, which resulted in severe crop damage and a reduction in yield.

The interrupted power supply also severely impacted Broiler Production. Chicken batteries that required cooling during hot summer months resulted in thousands of chickens dying due to heat stress. Farmers are turning to solar energy to ensure continued, sustainable agricultural production and avoid future production loss. Implementing a solar strategy to ensure an uninterrupted power supply requires thorough planning and possible financing from banks to fund the construction of large solar installations on farms.  The extent of solar energy use in agriculture has been unknown and not quantified until recently.

Agrivoltaic Farming, where the same area of land is used for both solar energy and agricultural products, is an innovative approach to agriculture, resulting in the sustainable production of farming operations and food processing. Agrivoltaics offer various benefits such as alternative income, optimized land use, and improved energy independence.

GEOTERRAIMAGE developed the Solar Power Analytics Dataset that provides intelligence on photovoltaic installations and inventory across South Africa. This dataset includes statistics on the size, location, and kW output of solar panels that assist farming operations in planning and negotiations with banks and authorities in the process to stabilize agricultural production.

GEOFarmer Website                       

GTI Website

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