Analysis of maize biomass use in Ethiopia and its implications for food security and the bioeconomy
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Using Ethiopia’s maize production as a case study, this paper examines the uses of maize biomass as a bioeconomy crop, and its implications and challenges for household food security. In the context of this study, bioeconomy refers to the production and utilization of biological resources or biomass to provide products, processes and services. The study followed a mixed methods approach that involved a household survey covering 322 randomly selected farmers, key informant interviews and focus group discussions in Ethiopia. We examined the implication of intensity of biomass use on farm household food security using an endogenous switching regression model. The study found multiple areas of use of maize biomass, although many of them were underdeveloped and underutilized. Model results further showed a positive and significant effect of diversification of use of biomass on the food security of farm households. Raising the quantity of maize biomass is important to enhance farm household food security as it allows farm households to increase the amount of biomass allocated for individual use and also to use it for diverse purposes. Yet, a broad set of factors including lack of market access, limited information and extension support on the uses of biomass, and a lack of biomass value-adding technologies have restricted the full potential of biomass utilization. Therefore, this study highlights the importance of provision of these factors in order to unlock the potential of biomass for food security and advance the development of the bioeconomy.
KeywordsBiomass production Biomass use Food security Endogenous switching regression Markets and extension Institutional innovation
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
We, the authors of this manuscript, declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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