Women for Results

SELF’s Solar Market Gardens

In the Kalalé District of Benin in West Africa, food security is a big concern among local communities. Women farmers are dependent on rainfed and hand-watered agriculture to grow food. A six-month dry season threatens food security, community health, and economic stability. The Solar Market Garden (SMG) model creates a safety net for the dry season, reducing environmental and community health vulnerability, and providing a reliable base income.

Kalalé District has 44 unelectrified villages. This project aims to not only improve food production, but generate solar electricity for all 44 villages for a wide-range of end-uses—including schools, health clinics, water pumping systems, street lighting, and wireless Internet access.

SELF’s Solar Market Garden project combines solar-powered pumps with drip irrigation systems to provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to pump water for irrigation from underground aquifers and, occasionally, nearby rivers.

Using the sun to empower women farmers


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Paris Agreement

SELF’s Solar Market Gardens builds capacity in solar energy infrastructure in Benin while at the same time delivering co-benefits such as reduced waterborne diseases, increased time for women and children to pursue educational and economic opportunities, as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The work of SELF’s Solar Market Gardens is already helping smallholder farmers take steps to help Benin meets its commitment under the Paris Agreement by ensuring that 31,419 kg of CO2 is avoided each year.

Benin submitted a pledge under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions unconditionally by 3.5% compared to the BAU scenario by 2030, and possibly an additional 17.9% conditionally with international assistance.



Solar Electric Fund