Kenya has approximately 8% arable land. With changes in climate and seasons resulting in more frequent and extended periods of drought throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, this is a precious resource.
Considering, the critical issues of limited arable land, food security and ever-increasing demand for fuel, Global Environmental Solutions initiated its Cotton-seed Biofuel and Cattle Feed Scheme.
We consider the use of existing agricultural waste for conversion into fuel and cattle feed to form a virtuous cycle to be the most innovative aspect of the scheme, especially given that the majority of other biodiesel projects focus on growing additional crops such as jatropha, sugar cane, soy bean and canola (with the attendant impacts on land and water consumption) for the express production of biofuel.
The aim of the scheme is to transfer UK biofuel processing technologies to Kenya and apply them to the existing waste product from the cotton industry to produce clean (up to 90% lower emissions than regular diesel), sustainable biofuel and much needed cattle feed to overcome food pressure during the dry season.
In addition, GDPE (an NGO and shareholder in GES) and GES have embarked on a social and economic programme whereby GDPE is working with the Eastern Province cotton farmers to produce more cotton and, therefore, boost local household incomes. GES are supporting this effort with inputs of organic fertilizer – again, created from the recycling of organic waste products – an educational programme and by improving standards of living with the introduction of biogas energy plants and small generator sets using biofuel.