Biomass-Based Value Webs: A Novel Perspective for Emerging Bioeconomies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Virchow, D., Beuchelt, T.D., Kuhn, A., and M. Denich 2016. Biomass-Based Value Webs: A Novel Perspective for Emerging Bioeconomies in Sub-Saharan Africa. In:  Technological and Institutional Innovation for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development. F.W. Gatzweiler and J. von Braun (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, pp. 225-238.

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Abstract

Growing demand for increasingly diverse biomass-based products will transform African agriculture from a food-supplying to a biomass-supplying sector, including non-food agricultural produce, like feed, energy and industrial raw materials. As a result, agriculture will become the core part of a biomass-based economy, which has the potential not only to produce renewable biological resources but to convert this biomass into products for various uses. The emerging bioeconomy will intensify the interlinkages between biomass production, processing and trading. To depict these increasingly complex systems, adapted analytic approaches are needed. With the perspective of the “biomass-based value web” approach, a multi-dimensional methodology can be used to understand the interrelation between several value chains as a flexible, efficient and sustainable production, processing, trading and consumption system.