12 July 2017. Bonn, Germany. The “first” pan-African expert network on food and non-food biomass has been launched by African and German researchers. There were about 80 participants from Europe and Africa.

BiomassNet aims to ensure that food security and environmental sustainability are not compromised in the development of new biomass uses. The scheme’s developers claim this will help to strengthen the emerging African bioeconomies.

The scheme was launched by Germany’s Center for Development Research ( ZEF) and the Ghana-based Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The project was also developed within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded project BiomassWeb.

Under the umbrella of the BiomassWeb project, German and African scientists have addressed the question of how biomass can be used more effectively and efficiently in Africa.

BiomassWeb coordinator Raymond Jatta introduced FARA’s new data infrastructure DataInformS and explained how BiomassNet will be integrated in FARA's outreach platforms
BiomassWeb coordinator Raymond Jatta introduced
FARA’s new data infrastructure DataInformS and
explained how BiomassNet will be integrated in
FARA’s outreach platforms

“Africa, especially south of the Sahara, needs biomass both as a source of food and as a source of energy and industrial raw materials. In view of the scarcity of agricultural land, this is hardly possible at the same time. “In order to provide solutions to this problem, we need an improved exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as discussions with local partners. Scientists, politicians, businesses and civil society must work together.” Manfred Denich, director of the BiomassWeb project at the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (ZEF).

Dr. Christine Schmitt, who leads the BiomassNet
project at ZEF, introducing the features of the
online platform Biomassnet.org.

Researchers in the BiomassWeb project are developing methods to improve food production and minimise post-harvest losses, such as spoilage. They also explore ways in which innovative processing techniques that can increase the income of small-scale farmers which makes them less prone to crises. Therefore, inedible manioc peels can serve as a substrate for mushroom cultivation which achieve good prices on local markets. The same applies to the further processing of plantains to flour, and maize residue to bio-oil or syngas, according to the developers of the scheme.

Keynote speech by Prof. von Braun (Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council): “Toward a sustainable Bioeconomy in Africa”


4-6 July 2017. Berlin. The Ethical Fashion Show Berlin presented progressive streetwear and casual wear labels during the Berlin Fashion Week.

Bamboo Belgium, presented and is producing socially responsible and sustainable bamboo home- and nightwear, yoga wear and basics. www.bamboobelgium.be

This post was originally published at PAEPARD by François Stepman. It has been republished here with permission.

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