Africa will have 1.2 billion people to feed by 2030

And by 2050, the population will have grown to more than two billion. At the same time, the continent will face unprecedented environmental and climate change along with socio-economic and health transitions.

Some 60% of sub-Saharan African land is used for livestock grazing. Many farmers combine livestock production with the cultivation of crops. Both are crucial to livelihoods across the region.

Livestock are a valuable asset for rural communities, providing pulling power for ploughs and transport and creating income diversification via nutrient-rich animal products. On top of that, they are key to reclaiming degraded land and conserving soil integrity and water.

BIO4Africa – supporting sustainable rural development in Africa

The BIO4Africa project was initiated to contribute to food and nutritional security and combat poverty in rural Africa through inclusive and sustainable development.

Through the development of bio-based solutions and circular value chains, the objective is to drive the cascading use of local resources, diversify farmer incomes and contribute to an African bioeconomy

Our focus is on transferring simple, small-scale and robust bio-based technologies to smallholder farmers. The technologies include green biorefining, pyrolysis, hydrothermal carbonisation, briquetting, pelletising, bio-composites and bioplastic production. All must be adapted to local needs, contexts and biomass.

In this way, we aim to empower farmers to produce a variety of higher value, bio-based products in a sustainable way. These include improved animal feed, fertiliser, pollutant absorbents, construction materials, packaging, solid fuel for cooking and ingredients for biogas production. Together, they should lead to the better environmental, economic and social performance of forage-based agri-food systems.

To pilot these technologies, BIO4Africa has set up testing sites in Uganda, Ghana, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. During the project, more than 300 farmers and farmer groups, including small dairies, lower-income farmers, women farmer groups and transhumant pastoralists, will have the opportunity to test the technologies in realistic conditions.