The Vice-Chancellor of the Ho Technical University, Prof. Ben Honyenuga, has reiterated the University’s commitment of providing skills-based training in sustainable energy for students and the community.
This he said, at a brief ceremony to unveil a solar-powered irrigation demonstration field, designed to train students, farmers, technicians and other stakeholders in the region.
The facility is a project under the German International Corporation Agency, funded by Green People’s Energy Project in partnership with the Ministry of Energy.
The Ho Technical University made available a 4-acre land for the installation of the irrigation facility at the University’s demonstration farm for the commencement of the project after meeting the selection criteria for the implementation of the project and signing a memorandum of understanding with GIZ.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor of the Ho Technical University, Prof. Ben Honyenuga noted that the facility would serve as a demonstration centre for the training of students, technicians and smallholder farmers across the region.
According to Prof. Honyenugah, “the all-year-round availability of solar energy, will provide the best form of renewable energy in the Agric sector and boost the economic activities of farmers, especially those in rural areas.”
According to the Vice Chancellor, the University’s commitment to deepening skills-based training in sustainable energy “has made it possible for the partnership with a German University to introduce a programme in Energy Engineering and Resource Optimization.”
Project Manager for GIZ, Mr. Rafael Wiese said, “the initiative will offer cheaper alternative to the high maintenance fuel-burning pumps.”
According to him, the Ho Technical University was well positioned and ready with several courses in solar energy.
“Here in Ghana, a few farmers are engaged in irrigation farming, and they rely on diesel to power their system, but you know diesel prices are coming up, and it comes at a lot of cost, so we think that solar energy is a good option and in the long run also, financially viable.”
“Here in Ho Technical University, what we have installed is for training purposes and also because the University already has several pieces of training on solar energy. Again, we chose here because they already have very skilled facilitators,” he added.
The 143,000 Euro facility, consists of a solar-powered pumping system, sprinklers, drip and spray tubes over three-acre farmland, and a water reservoir and is aimed at promoting the use of modern alternative sustainable renewable energy technologies for citizens and businesses.