Standing tall for food and fuel
Cassava is an ideal crop for industrial value chains because it has a high starch content and is easy to grow by commercial and small-scale farmers. The starch can be processed into many products including ethanol cooking fuel (ECF) and products for food and industrial applications.
The number one priority is to ensure that no food is diverted for processing, thus avoiding food insecurity. Improved agricultural practices will result in increased productivity per unit of land. This will strengthen the existing production of cassava and allow continued household consumption while excess cassava will be sold for processing
Ethanol is a renewable clean liquid biofuel produced via a fermentation and distillation process from cassava flour. Cassava will be converted into sugar and the sugar will be fermented to cooking grade fuel for use in the home.
Biogas generation will offset the heat and power requirements for ongoing operations with the option of supplying the grid and neighbouring communities.
Dietary fibre or roughage is a valuable- plant-derived co-product that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes and therefore enhances digestive health. The soluble fibres in cassava include uronic acid, pectin and β-glucans. These have nutraceutical value, including hypocholesterolaemic and hypoglycaemic effects, which are important for diabetes management.
Liquid and solid fractions obtained from the anaerobic digestion of cassava by-products, including peels, starch, fibre residues and waste water are good sources of biofertilizer, as they contain living microorganisms that increase the supply and availability of primary nutrients to the host plant.
Kenya is a net importer of both starch and sweeteners, which have wide application in food and beverage industries. Producing starch and sweeteners locally will prevent externalization of foreign exchange and also allow participation in the export market.
A feedstock processing plant at the centre that adds value to locally grown cassava, producing food, feed, ECF, heat and power.
A Giraffe Bioenergy managed nucleus farm providing a minimum baseload of cassava (at least 50%) to cushion any out-grower disruptions.
Guaranteed feedstock purchase agreements to approved local out-growers as well as the supply of planting materials and micro-finance. This will deliver a long-term sustainable income to the community and the confidence to invest in and expand their farms.
Dr. Linda Davis has over 15 years extensive experience in senior-level positions within the renewable energy sector, including conventional and cellulosic ethanol technologies and algae-based biofuels. Linda earned her undergraduate degree in Food Science and Technology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. She completed her PhD in Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of Western Sydney. Dr. Davis also holds certificates in Petroleum Refining, Project Management, Finance and Accounting (Stanford University).
Nick spent 25 years in Shell International setting up and running businesses in SE Asia, South Asia, East Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central and South America. Since leaving Shell in 2005 Nick has focused on the renewables sector, setting up or sitting on the Boards of biofuel and bioenergy companies in Europe, Africa and China, covering many different parts of the value chain, from growing energy crops, through to technology development companies, project development companies building and operating biofuel and bioenergy plants. In addition, he provides an advisory service to very early stage renewable sector players. He also Chairs two charity Boards working with disadvantaged young people in UK and South Africa.
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