Joint FARA-ZEF BiomassWeb field visit in Ghana

”Africa is rising, the story is changing and the future of African Agriculture is getting brighter…”

BiomassWeb project team members in Ghana flanked by ZEF representative, Dr. Christine Schmitt (3rd from the right).
BiomassWeb project team members in Ghana flanked by ZEF representative, Dr. Christine Schmitt (3rd from the right).

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.

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Integrating stakeholders in research process: Start of Demand-Driven Research and Development Program

Field trial of the project "Exploring the potential of bamboo leave fodder for livestock production in Ghana".
Field trial of the project “Exploring the potential of bamboo leave fodder for livestock production in Ghana”.

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.
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BiomassWeb and ESSZert Paper wins Elsevier Atlas Award

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”

n_img_1706Each 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.

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Positive mid-term evaluation: Start of phase two

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.

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Adebayo Abass from IITA visits Bonn

Abass (IITA) visits BiomassWeb team in Bonn
From left to right: Dr. Manfred Denich, Dr. Tina Beuchelt, Adebayo Abass, Dr. Thomas Gaiser

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.


Technological and Institutional Innovations for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development

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.

Download book here

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”.
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BiomassWeb visits IITA in Nigeria

img_4098In 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

BiomassWeb Science Meeting in Nigeria

Group picture of the workshop participants. 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:

  1. Food and nutrition security:
    Finding pathways to increase food availability and nutrition security via production and processing of food biomass
  2. Income generation:
    The contribution of food and non-food biomass to income generation within the value web
  3. Policies/decision support:
    Supporting evidence-based policy and decision-making within an African bioeconomy
  4. 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).

Workshop on ‘Qualitative Modeling’ with iMODELER in Nigeria

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.

Group picture iModeler Ibadan 2016








Participants of the workshop on ‘Qualitative Modeling’ in Nigeria



Ravello (Amalfi Coast – Italy) June 26–29, 2016

Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer



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