Around 8 million farmers live off planting cassava in Nigeria. Annually, approximately 38 million tons of it are harvested, more than in any other nation. Besides, they are also big cashew producers. The farming center for these products is located southwest of the country, in Ogbomosho, in the Oyo State. That is also the location of NABDA (National Biotechnology Development Agency) which has ordered the installation of a Green Micro Distillery.
With capacity to produce 1000 liters of Bioethanol per day, the Micro Distillery is fed by local crops. This project will be a pilot in producing cooking fuel in Ogbomosho’s rural communities and surroundings. Placed near cassava crops and cashew trees, the equipment uses surplus cassava harvest and cashew apples which are discarded when their nuts are ripe.
This is a pioneering Project in Nigeria and the African continent. Besides the Micro Distillery, NABDA will provide 1000 ethanol cookstoves, known as CleanCook Stoves. These stoves have been designed to be safe and efficient and were chosen as ideal for Africa by Project Gaia, a non-profit dedicated to biofuel promotion and partnerships with governments to develop rural areas socio-economically.
Using Bioethanol will bring two immediate benefits to local producers and inhabitants. First, pollution effects caused by wood and kerosene burning indoors, which offer high risks to women and children’s health and safety, will be greatly reduced. Secondly, new stable markets will be opened for cassava and cashew farmers. In other words, as the cookstoves establish Bioethanol as a stable income source, the fuel produced by Green’s Micro Distillery meets local communities’ needs for modern alternatives to household chores. Additionally, the ethanol-powered electric generator used by the Micro Distillery will provide electricity to some locations.
As time passes, the wide range of uses for Bioethanol will help stabilize the price of cassava. Furthermore, NABDA believes that, with its increased fuel production capacity, the country will be able to achieve energy stability, not to mention strengthen rural communities. This strategy is rooted in reducing imported petroleum-based fuel dependence via small-scale Bioethanol production.