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Global Utilizations of Biomass

Global utilization of biomass

Short description:

WP 6.3 explores the potential of international demand for specific (non-food) biomass categories (example products) that can be produced under comparative advantages in Africa. It further investigates the most important issues to be addressed in the different biomass categories to make international demand beneficial for African countries and farmers.

Problem statement:

Biomass demand in Africa, especially the demand for non-food biomass (e.g. energy, fiber, and other industrial raw material) is increasingly driven by global demand. It is expected that African countries will significantly supply biomass to Europe in the future. If the system productivity of biomass can be increased the increasing international demand can be beneficial for African economies, farmers and other actors in the value web. However, African farmers and countries are only able to benefit from and to satisfy the international demand for biomass if the framework for such increased international biomass supply is adjusted appropriately.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the potential of international demand for specific biomass categories in Africa (e.g. energy, fiber, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, …)
  • Outline the most important issues to be addressed in different biomass categories to make international demand beneficial for African countries and farmers

Research questions:

  • Will the specific biomass category (product) become a tangible product for international demand?
  • Under which conditions will Africa become a supplier for such products on the international market?
  • Which institutional settings are required to enable African countries and farmers to supply such products and ensure international companies to buy these products from Africa?

Methodology:

  • Identification of relevant biomass products in different categories through literature research and qualitative interviews with companies and industries
  • Qualitative interviews with companies in the respective sector to specify necessary preconditions and requirements for suppliers
  • Assessment of the current institutional settings in the study countries and of their potential to qualify as (economically, ecologically) sustainable suppliers

Countries of field research:

  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria

Involved partners:

Investigators:

  • Dr. Tim Loos
    Senior Researcher
    University of Hohenheim
    Rural Development Theory and Policy (490a)
    Email: tim.loos@uni-hohenheim.de
  • C.S.P.: Marlene Hoppe, Evelin Tetzner, Günter Gäbler
  • MSc-students from Hawassa University