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Research

Our research is structured around the analysis of biomass demand, supply and related value webs, research innovations, and implementation including capacity and network building.

BiomassWeb will investigate the production and utilization of biomass in Africa by looking at current and future biomass demand and supply. The project will identify innovation opportunities in pre- and post-harvest production technologies, institutional settings and governance structures. This will be complemented by implementation activities focusing on joint learning and network building to create innovative capacity beyond the project duration.

BiomassWeb Research Cluster
Schematic outline of our seven BiomassWeb research clusters. Arrows indicate links between the clusters, as well as between the project and the stakeholders. The work packages are parts of the clusters. Colors indicate thematic thrust.

Our research program comprises 24 work packages organized into 7 research clusters (RC), which are structured in three thematic areas (see graphic below). The research clusters and thematic areas are linked and complementary to each other, covering a whole range of agricultural and food aspects of the bioeconomy.

Analysis: the analysis of biomass demand, supply and related value webs (RCs 1 to 3)

Innovations: research innovations in production systems, post-harvest technologies and institutional innovations (RCs 4 to 6), and

Implementation: the implementation of findings through joint learning and transition management, as well as network building (RC 7).

Project region and focus crops

Our research focusses on the productive Sudanian savanna belt (Ghana, Nigeria) and the East African highlands (Ethiopia). Specific exemplary ‘model’ value webs will be studied based on cassava, maize, banana/plantain/enset and biomass derived from natural vegetation and agroforestry systems. These case studies allow investigating in detail the local, regional and international flows and trade of biomass and derived products.

Project Outputs

Project output consists of scientific knowledge generation and capacity development in three forms:

  1. Specific recommendations for the crops and countries that are being studied as ‘model’ webs;
  2. methods, protocols and tools to address future biomass challenges and a group of regional biomass resource experts trained in applying and expanding the tools (forming a “living toolbox”); and
  3. a pan-African network (“Biomass Network”) of biomass experts (scientists) and actors in Sub-Saharan Africa’s biomass sector as a stakeholder platform for biomass-related discussions and activities in SSA, focusing on the coming decades.