Empowering Agriculture: Energy options for horticulture
This guide has been prepared for use by USAID and its partners to assist local horticulture producers in identifying the electrical, mechanical (shaft horsepower), and thermal requirements for various stages of the horticulture process and to assist these producers in selecting suitable efficient technical options to meet those energy needs.
Horticulture, the growing of fruits and vegetables for local and more distant markets, involves the following steps:
- Land preparation
- Planting and cultivation
- Postharvest handling and packing
- Cooling and cold storage
The amount and the type of energy used in each of these stages reflect the type of horticultural product, scale of operations, financial resources of operators, availability of energy sources and resources, and availability of relevant energy technologies.
This guide provides data on technology acquisition costs, energy consumption, capacity, and effectiveness of technical options. Costs continue to evolve, and petroleum fuel prices are especially volatile as of this writing. For this reason, cost comparisons and cost-benefit calculations should be done each time a horticultural producer or marketer makes a decision about which technologies to use.