The European project BIO4AFRICA has officially started, after holding an online kick-off meeting on June 22 and 23, with the aim to support the deployment of the bioeconomy in rural Africa. In order to do so, it will boost the development of value chains and grassroots solutions through a circular approach that will encourage the use of local resources and the diversification of farmers’ income.
This initiative, which has received €9 million in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, involves a total of 13 European and 12 African organisations. Barcelona Plataforma Empresarial, Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA), and SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS are the Spanish partners of BIO4AFRICA.
The project will develop a catalogue of bio-based technologies adapted to the local needs and context, and it will train farmers in rural Africa to sustainably produce a variety of high value-added bio-based projects, such as animal feed, fertilizers, or biofuels.
In order to achieve this, BIO4AFRICA will establish four pilot cases in Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, and Ivory Coast with eight testbeds, and it will involve over 300 farmers. This will improve the environmental, economic, and social performance of their agri-food systems.
The combination of African and European partners in the consortium will allow a strong collaboration between multiple stakeholders from rural communities and the Government, promoting the construction of sustainable value chains that allow the introduction of bio-based approaches and technologies.
The African continent will need to feed more than two billion people in 2050 as it faces unprecedented demographic, socio-economic, environmental, and climatic transitions. In this context, ensuring food security is essential, and the bioeconomy can play a leading role.
The bioeconomy uses the renewable bio-based resources of the land and sea to produce food, materials and energy. The European Commission is strongly promoting its development due to its potential to generate wealth and employment in a sustainable way.
The project’s impact indicators are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 2030 Agenda, mainly related to quality employment and gender equality.