Tanzania

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Information about biofuels and bioenergy in Tanzania.


Contents

Events

2010

2008

Reports

News

2011

  • UK firm's failed biofuel dream wrecks lives of Tanzania villagers, 29 October 2011 by The Guardian: "A quarter of the village's land in Kisarawe district was acquired by a British biofuels company in 2008, with the promise of financial compensation, 700 jobs, water wells, improved schools, health clinics and roads."
    • "But the company has gone bust, leaving villagers not just jobless but landless as well."
    • "The tale of London-based Sun Biofuels's misadventure in Kisarawe links the broken hopes of the villagers to offshore tax havens and mysterious new owners, tracked down by the Observer, and ultimately to petrol pumps in the UK and across Europe. The final link results from the mandatory blending of biofuels into European petrol and diesel."
    • "The aim is to reduce carbon emissions, but many say biofuels actually increase pollution."
    • "'The situation in Kisarawe is heartbreaking, but the real tragedy is that it is far from unique. Communities across Africa and beyond are losing their land as a result of the massive biofuel targets set by our government,' said Josie Cohen at development group ActionAid, which works in Kisarawe."
    • "The thirst for biofuels to meet the UK and EU's rising targets has led British companies to lead the charge into Africa. Half the 3.2m hectares of biofuel land identified is linked to 11 British companies, the biggest proportion of any country."[1]
  • The Extraordinary Collapse of Jatropha as a Global Biofuel, 2 August 2011 by Environmental Science & Technology: "In a massive planting program of unprecedented scale millions of marginal farmers and landless people were encouraged to plant Jatropha across India through attractive schemes....Similar measures were undertaken across other developing countries involving millions of small farmers in the hope that it would not only provide renewable energy but also enhance their incomes....By 2008, Jatropha had already been planted over an estimated 900000 ha globally of which an overwhelming 85% was in Asia, 13% in Africa and the rest in Latin America, and by 2015 Jatropha is expected to be planted on 12.8 million ha worldwide."
    • "But the results are anything but encouraging. In India the provisions of mandatory blending could not be enforced as seed production fell far short of the expectation and a recent study has reported discontinuance by 85% of the Jatropha farmers....In Tanzania the results are very unsatisfactory and a research study found the net present value of a five-year investment in Jatropha plantation was negative with a loss of US$ 65 per ha on lands with yields of 2 tons/ha of seeds...."
    • "...A case study of Jatropha plantations raised in 1993–1994 in the Indian province of Andhra Pradesh had reported actual yields that were far below expectations and the species was found to be prone to termite attacks, water logging, vulnerable to drought in the planting year and delayed yields."
    • "...As an immediate step an international body like the FAO may have to intervene to stop further extension of Jatropha in new areas without adequate research inputs. Greater investments in dissemination of scientific data will help in ensuring due diligence does not cause undue delays in decision making."[2]
  • FAO's Tool Weighs Pros and Cons of Biofuels, 7 June 2011 by AllAfrica.com: "Calculating the costs and benefits of investing in biofuels may become easier for policymakers with a guide launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)."
    • "The Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Analytical Framework, released last month (17 May), was developed over the past three years and tested in Peru, Tanzania and Thailand."
    • "Heiner Thofern, head of the BEFS project, said that the goal is to help policymakers make informed decisions on whether development of bioenergy is a viable option for their countries and, if so, identify policies that will maximise benefits for the economy and minimise risks to food security."
    • Chris Buddenhagen, council coordinator of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council who developed a tool for assessing the risk of invasion by biofuel species, also welcomed the method, but warned that it seems hard to use and difficult to apply quickly to make the best policy decisions."
    • "He also said the tool neglects some important issues, such as biodiversity and the invasiveness of biofuel species."[3]
  • SE Asian palm oil firms go on African land safari, 29 April 2011 by Reuters: "Malaysia's Sime Darby and Singapore's Golden Agri Resources have joined a slew of global firms entering Africa by snapping up hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Liberia, but it could still take years to turn the region into a net exporter and help ease high palm oil prices."
    • "With an increasing number of firms rushing to Africa as part of a global grab for land in the face of soaring food prices, African governments such as Nigeria and Tanzania have also thrown open their doors to planters by offering tax breaks and big land concessions."
    • "World Bank studies show Sub-Saharan Africa holds 201.5 million hectares suitable for crops, nearly half the world's total, or 16 times the combined oil palm acreage in Indonesia and Malaysia."
    • "Investors are often lured by the fact that land in Africa can be rented or bought at a fraction of the price in Malaysia, where estates are priced at $6,000 to $7,000 per hectare, but there are other hidden costs."
    • "Estates in Africa's top grower, Nigeria, yield about a tenth of Malaysia's 21.3 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches a hectare, FAO data shows, due to poor planting materials and the region's long dry season that stresses out water-loving oil palms."[4]
  • Biofuel jatropha falls from wonder-crop pedestal, 21 January 2011 by Reuters: "Jatropha, a biofuel-producing plant once touted as a wonder-crop, is turning out to be much less dependable than first thought, both environmentalists and industry players say."
    • "Some biofuel producers found themselves agreeing with many of the criticisms detailed in a report launched by campaign group Friends of the Earth this week -- 'Jatropha: money doesn't grow on trees.'"
    • "Jatropha has been widely heralded as a wonder plant whose cultivation on non-arable land in Africa, Asia and Latin America would provide biodiesel and jobs in poor countries without using farmland needed to feed growing numbers of local people."
    • "'Jatropha is not the miracle crop that many people think it is,' said Dominic Fava, business development manager of British biofuels firm D1 Oils, which processes jatropha grown in Asia and Africa."
    • "'The idea that jatropha can be grown on marginal land is a red herring,' Harry Stourton, Business Development Director of UK-based Sun Biofuels, which cultivates jatropha in Mozambique and Tanzania, told Reuters."
    • "'It does grow on marginal land, but if you use marginal land you'll get marginal yields,' he said."[5]

2009

  • Tanzania Suspends Biofuels Investments, 14 October 2009 by the Green Inc. blog of the New York Times: "Reacting to mounting pressure from farmers and environmental groups citing concerns over food shortages, the Tanzanian government has reportedly suspended all biofuel investments in the country and halted land allocations for biofuel development."[8]
  • Africa's burning charcoal problem, 25 September 2009 by BBC: "[A]ccording to the Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies, 20,000 bags of charcoal enter the capital Dar es Salaam every 24 hours....But the impact of this unregulated...trade is chilling."
    • "Aid agency Christian Aid estimates that 182 million people in Africa are at risk of dying as a consequence of climate change by the end of the century....One adaptation option for Africa is to keep her forests standing so that they provide essential environmental services such as carbon sinks".
    • "But Africa has not been very good at this....According to the UN the continent is losing forest twice as fast as the rest of the world."
    • "Wood and its by-product charcoal are, unless radical steps are taken, likely to remain the primary energy source for decades....Additionally, charcoal is a lucrative business..."[10]

2008

2007

2006

Organizations

Governmental organizations

Nongovernmental organizations

Companies


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