African and German researchers launched the first pan-African expert network for food and non-food biomass in Bonn, Germany, on 12 July 2017. The network aims at ensuring that food security and environmental sustainability are not compromised in the development of new biomass uses. It will thus help to strengthen the emerging African bioeconomies. Biomass is any degradable substance that is derived from plants or animals and is thus renewable.
”Africa is rising, the story is changing and the future of African Agriculture is getting brighter…”
These were the words of Dr. Wole Fatunbi, Lead Specialist Innovation Systems and Partnerships at the opening session of the BiomassWeb partners meeting at the Secretariat of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in Accra, Ghana on 30th November 2016. The meeting was held in the framework of a joint field visit by PD Dr. Christine Schmitt, Senior Scientist and Project Coordinator BiomassWeb, from the Center for Development Research (ZEF) University of Bonn, Germany, and Mr. Dady Demby, Ag. Africa BiomassWeb project coordinator, FARA.
In October 2016, the BiomassWeb project launched six demand-driven research and development (DDRD) projects in Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The projects will run for a period of six months and enable local stakeholders to investigate improvements in the value webs of cassava, bamboo, maize, plantain, and banana.
Outcome of cooperation of BiomassWeb with ESSZert on certification of bioenergy published in award-winning Elsevier article on “As Bioenergy Booms, Certification Schemes Must Consider Food Security”
Each month, Atlas’s advisory board selects a research article for the Atlas Award, based on suggestions from the publishers of Elsevier’s 1,800 journals. The awarded article is one of 12 articles selected out of 35,000.
After successfully passing the mid-term evaluation, BiomassWeb continues for a second phase of two years, starting in July 2016. The team members of BiomassWeb seized the opportunity to assess research results and further prioritize the research activities for the next two years of BiomassWeb.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) now published a video on how to process cassava peels for additional income.
The video shows the IITA Cassava Processing Facility, which was visited by participants of the BiomassWeb Science Meeting in Nigeria on February 23-26, 2016.
You can watch the video here
The cassava value chain operator from IITA, Adebayo Abass, visited Bonn on April 13, 2016 to meet with Dr. Thomas Gaiser and the coordination team of BiomassWeb.
During his visit, further collaboration between IITA and BiomassWeb and interesting research topics for the second phase of the project were discussed.
Members of BiomassWeb contributed two book chapters to the newly published book “Technological and Institutional Innovation for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development. Springer International Publishing” by Franz W. Gatzweiler, and Joachim von Braun, 2016.
Detlef Virchow, Tina Beuchelt, Arnim Kuhn, and Manfred Denich contributed a book chapter on “Biomass-Based Value Webs: A Novel Perspective for Emerging Bioeconomies in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
Tina Beuchelt contributed a book chapter on “Gender, Social Equity and Innovations in Smallholder Farming Systems: Pitfalls and Pathways”.
In course of the BiomassWeb Science Meeting in Nigeria on February 23-26, 2016, members of BiomassWeb took part in an excursion to IITA, Nigeria, to visit important research sites, such as the IITA Cassava Processing Facility or the Business Incubation Platform (BIP).
IITA now published the visit in its Bulletin, which you can download here
On February 23-26, 2016, a BiomassWeb Science Meeting was held at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Project members from all three partner countries with 10 different nationalities participated in the meeting and presented their research.
During the meeting, the new direction of the project was discussed and different work packages presented their work activities and achievements. In group activities, the participants discussed target outputs of each work package, with the realization that some group activities could be merged.
Hence, the meeting had the goal to intensify the collaboration and interchange between different BiomassWeb work packages. For this purpose four priority areas were put together, each of them representing a special field of research represented by several work packages.
The priority areas and their fields of research are:
- Food and nutrition security:
Finding pathways to increase food availability and nutrition security via production and processing of food biomass
- Income generation:
The contribution of food and non-food biomass to income generation within the value web
- Policies/decision support:
Supporting evidence-based policy and decision-making within an African bioeconomy
- Innovation systems and Transition management:
Opportunities and challenges with a focus on African biomass-based value webs
Furthermore, the online presence of BiomassWeb research will be more visible through the BiomassWeb Dgroup and BiomassNet. The BiomassNet concept was presented and discussed during the meeting. Including the important feedback from the participants, BiomassNet will be ready to launch in November, 2016.
On the last day of the meeting, the participants took part in an excursion to IITA, Nigeria, to visit important research sites, such as the IITA Cassava Processing Facility or the Business Incubation Platform (BIP).
A two-day workshop on ‘Qualitative Modeling’ was held at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria from February 29, 2016 to March 01, 2016.
Members of BiomassWeb and the workpackage 3.3 ‘Systems Modeling’ presented the development of descriptive and explorative models of biomass-based value webs of different crops with the software iMODELER, developed by CONSIDEO.
iMODELER develops generalized models of biomass chains, such as cassava, maize or plantain, while looking for synergies between the crops as well as synergies with other crop with explorative qualitative cause and effect modeling.
The workshop had the goal to find potential measures for explorative modeling and reflect on how to initiate change as well as identify the obstacles on the way to learn the systemic methodology of Explorative Qualitative Modeling.
Participants of the workshop on ‘Qualitative Modeling’ in Nigeria
WELCOME TO THE 20th ICABR CONFERENCE
Ravello (Amalfi Coast – Italy) June 26–29, 2016
Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer
TRANSFORMING THE BIOECONOMY: BEHAVIOR, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE
Since its founding in 1996 as a forum to assess emerging issues in biodiversity and agricultural biotechnology, the annual ICABR conference has evolved to include research on a wide range of socioeconomic aspects of the bioeconomy.
To celebrate its XX anniversary, ICABR will convene a conference in Ravello in June 2016 on the theme Transforming the Bioeconomy: Behavior, Innovation and Science.
The Keynote Speaker will be Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University on the topic “Irrational behavior in science and technology communication: truth and dishonesty” Read more
Innovative macropropagation techniques of plantain (Musa AAB), applicable to small scale farmers
John Opata, Paul Melichar, Martin Hegele, Beloved Mensah Dzomeku, Jens Wünsche
John Opata gave an oral presentation on “Innovative macropropagation techniques of plantain (Musa AAB), applicable to small scale farmer”. The presentation was held at the ELLS Scientific Student Conference in Prag, Czech Republic on November 13 – 14, 2015 Read more
The 17th “Tropentag” Conference on “Management of land use systems for enhanced food security: conflicts, controversies and resolutions”
Several BiomassWeb members have participated in the 17th “Tropentag” Conference on “Management of land use systems for enhanced food security: conflicts, controversies and resolutions” taking place at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, on September 16-18, 2015 Read more
Developing a prototype microgasifier stove for improving household energy systems in rural Ethiopia
By Kiatkamjon Intani, Sajid Latif, and Joachim Müller
Most of the households in Ethiopia still rely on traditional use of biomass for their energy needs. Traditional three-stone stoves are widely used in Ethiopia. This type of cooking device has a low fuel efficiency and high emission, which leads to indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution causes chronic eye illness and respiratory disease in women and children, resulting in about 60,000 deaths per year. This study by Kiatkamjon Intani, Sajid Latif, and Joachim Müller developed a prototype microgasifier stove (TLUD-Pyro) to serve as cooking device and miniature charcoal kilns, producing biochar and bio-oil as valuable byproducts. Read more
From science to practice: transdisciplinary approaches for promoting balanced land use systems in sub-Saharan Africa
Christine B. Schmitt, Tina Beuchelt, Dady Demby, Arnmin Kuhn and Manfred Denich
The poster “From science to practice: transdisciplinary approaches for promoting balanced land use systems in sub-Saharan Africa” was presented by Christine Schmitt at the “Annual conference of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland” on August 30 – September 3, 2015 in Göttingen, Germany. Read more
Critical reflections on the effectiveness of biomass standards to enforce sustainability
Beuchelt, Tina (ZEF, Bonn, Germany), Mohr, Anna(ZEF, Bonn, Germany), Virchow, Detlef (ZEF, Bonn, Germany), Schneider, Rafaël (Welthungerhilfe, Bonn, Germany)
With the emerging bio-economies in Europe, more biomass is imported. Sustainability concerns led to the development of EU regulations esp. regarding bioenergy. Hence, private certification standards for biomass proliferate but with major differences regarding environmental and social criteria. Read more
BiomassWeb is aiming to develop a stakeholder network – BiomassNet – to promote biomass production, processing and trading in African countries in order to enhance food security and support the emerging bio-economies.
We are happy to announce that we have moved one step ahead in creating this network. Read more
How to increase resource efficiency in an emerging bio-economy: Moving from Value Chains to Biomass-Based Value Webs.
Detlef Virchow, Tina Beuchelt, Arnim Kuhn and Manfred Denich
The presentation on “How to increase resource efficiency in an emerging bio-economy: Moving from value chains to biomass-based value webs” was held by Tina Beuchelt at the “23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition”, Europe’s largest international conference on biomass. It is a highly-respected international scientific conference with an industrial exhibition while gathering participants from research, industry, policy and business of biomass and took place on June 1-4, 2015 in Vienna, Austria. Read more
The “BiomassWeb”, that is, Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value webs, is a research project designed to enhance food security in Africa. The project seeks to boost effective and efficient production, processing and trading as well as enhance the utilization of food and non-food biomass through increased system integration of associated biomass value webs. Read more
The second of two doctoral workshops in the time period 2014/2015 took place as a two day workshop on March 26-27 2015.
Participants were students of the doctoral program of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the University of Hohenheim. The main goal of the workshop was the presentation and discussion of the work progress and interim results of their PhD projects in their specific fields of research within the BiomassWeb project.
BiomassWeb student Pride Ebile won this year’s elevator pitch at the BMBF status seminar PLANT 2030 with his presentation on “Governance and Institutional Challenges in Biomass-based Value Webs: The case of cassava in Nigeria”. Out of 30 presentations Pride was able to convince the audience as well as the jury. He is a Junior Researcher in WP 6.1 “Governance” at the University of Hohenheim.
Eric Opokuh Mensah from Kumasi, Ghana, joined the Research Center Jülich for a research internship in the BiomassWeb project and training in plant phenotyping. Watch this video, produced by the Research Center Jülich, to learn more about plant phenotyping at JPPC: Banana (musa spp). Read more
The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. It is held during the International Green Week (IGW). GFFA is organized by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Senate of Berlin, Messe Berlin GmbH and GFFA Berlin e.V. Read more
BiomassWeb will participate in the BMBF PLANT 2030 Status Seminar in Potsdam from March 4 to 6, 2015. Plant 2030 pools all research activities in the field of applied plant research which are funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
The agenda will include presentations on the progress made in running Plant Biotechnology, PLANT KBBE, DPPN, GlobE, IPAS and related projects.