Energy provisions for horticulture in African countries – Seed2Feed and Planetary Service

In a number of horticultural startups, and even more so in their growth phases, the availability of electricity and more broadly energy is an important issue. In many cases the grid is available on nearby, but the grid is not always reliable. On top of that the need for energy, amount and type, is dependent on the level of technology, the volume of production, and the distance to the market.

To support horticultural enterprises the availability of energy scenarios from the perspective of the companies involved is a helpful tool that doesn’t yet exist. Some research has been done on the integration of agricultural activities and the provision of energy, but only from the perspective of large-scale energy planners. The question is waiting for an answer: which scenarios and options are available for horticultural enterprises, taking into account the following (list may not be complete):

  1. The level of technology (only drip irrigation and light, availability of internet, or water pumps, cooling, germination chambers etc. etc.)
  2. The location (grid connection, water availability etc., distance to markets)
  3. The level of sophistication of the company (basic or high-tech or in between)
  4. The scale of operations
  5. The ecosystem of other enterprises (mutual support and/or competition etc.)
  6. The presence of enhancing government policies
  7. The feasibility of the technology itself as a realistic option.
  8. Etc.

The scenarios developed have to be as realistic as possible. If it turns out that the assignment is too broad in scope a focus on a selection of options is possible. In that case the study evolves to a contribution to the final goal: a tool for scenario planning for horticultural startups in different circumstances.

This assignment is supported by the knowledge and networks of Seed2Feed and Planetary Service. It is helpful but not indispensable to work on location, in Africa.

This master thesis assignment is suitable for students in energy technology, entrepreneurship, horticulture, management studies.