The workshop highlighted the key areas of research currently underway in establishing the true value chains in the production and processing of biomass products in Namibia. It also served as a platform for policy discussion and future implementation within the biomass sector, as well as innovative and potential revenue streams for job creation and economic growth.
The project strives to encourage and promote research and development on the economic use of biomass through controlled bush-thinning practices. It has thus far implemented technology dissemination and value chain development schemes for the future conducive environment which bush control will provide. Furthermore, it has supported opportunities the BUSH Project to promote the generation and application of knowledge related to the biomass industry through scholarship programmes and direct applications of the knowledge gained. “One of the seven sub-projects involved the need for researchers and technology developers to identify proper technologies for the recognised potential in biochar production. Benefits such as socio-economic and nutritional improvements were examined and the various field-sized kiln used for biochar production and tests yielded improved food productivity,” said Mr Evert Strydom (the Principal Investigator).
In addition, the BUSH project principal investigator initiative has adopted a multidisciplinary approach to addressing bioeconomy research and development matters in Namibia, with input from NUST’s Faculties of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences; Engineering; and Health and Applied Sciences.
During the project period, a number of research projects and prototypes have been completed, energy efficient stoves, debusher, biochar mixtures and crop implementation, wood gasification to electricity studies, and wood plastic composites development.