Assessment of potential of bio-energy production in Nhambita Community Mozambique
In collaboration with Ministry of Energy Mozambique, Wageningen University and UK company Envirotrade, GTZ-ProBEC has assessed the potential of bioenergy production in small holder farming systems.
The Nhambita community got involved in a Jatrohpa planting campaign lead by President Armando Gebusa in 2005. The aim of the Jatropha campaign was to promote biooil crops for self-subsistence bioenergy as a strategy to increase access to energy in rural Mozambique. Given the rather unsuccessful Jatropha trials of the community, the Ministry of Energy asked GTZ-ProBEC to assess the problem and provide recommendations for successful smallholder bioenergy production.
A study was conducted in the community of Nhambita, Gorongosa District, Mozambique. It is entitled: "Assessment of Bioenergy Production Potential within smallholder farming systems, the case of the Nhambita Community", is now finalised by S. Bos, W. Leonardo, A. Lerner and M. Schut.The research found that a bioenergy market could exist in the Nhambita community given the existing farming systems, the present energy use and expected future energy demand. A mis-match is however prevailing between the potential for local bioenergy applications and the actual production of bioenergy crops. It was further concluded that the critical resource for smallholder farm households is labour. A positive result regarding the flexibility of farmers was that farmers are in general happy to try new crops and production methods, critical conditions must however be met.
In the case of Jatropha there is very little knowledge around farming techniques. Adding to that, an uncertain market as well as a high investment risk factor given that Jatropha will only be profitable after some years makes the farmers somewhat reluctant to engage in Jatropha planting. The research also established that a primary focus on local bio-energy applications appears to be more stable for communities and consequently less sensitive to outside distortion then aiming for producing for the national biofuel market. With an appropriate enabling environment that facilitates learning, trust building and establishment of local markets, the local market approach can contribute to sustainable development by local production, processing and use.