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Small farmers in Africa will soon have a valuable use for crop and livestock waste that they have traditionally left to rot or burn. Think of residues such as cassava peels, cashew apples, peanut shells, coffee pods and animal dung.
Editorial office / Brussels

The EU-funded BIO4Africa project has selected a number of simple, small-scale and robust biobased technologies to valorise these waste streams in rural locations in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Uganda.

The aim is to enable African farmers and communities to produce a wide range of high-quality products using local biomass, developing new business opportunities. Circular business models will ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability. They provide alternative sources of income for farmers, improve food security and reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate change.


Meanwhile, at a test site in Uganda, work has started on the installation of a biorefinery that converts leaves and other plant residues into concentrated protein cake or powder for animal feed. Initial feeding trials show that the protein cakes can increase the milk yield of dairy cows by 25%.

These and other selected technologies offer a range of possibilities for converting residues into easily transportable, marketable products. These include the production of feed pellets and blocks for livestock and aquaculture, biomass briquettes for stoves, the production of biogas and biochar for water filtration. Even bioplastic and biocomposite technology is being tested on a laboratory scale.

BIO4Africa is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It started in 2021 and will run until 2025. In total, 13 partners from Africa and 12 partners from the EU are participating.

Check the website for more information.

Image: biochar production in Uganda (BIO4Africa)