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Analysis of maize biomass use in Ethiopia and its implications for food security and the bioeconomy

  • Tilahun Woldie Mengistu
  • Saurabh Gupta
  • Regina Birner
Original Paper
  • 24 Downloads

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Biomass production Biomass use Food security Endogenous switching regression Markets and extension Institutional innovation 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We, the authors of this manuscript, declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12571_2018_865_MOESM1_ESM.docx (69 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 68 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tilahun Woldie Mengistu
    • 1
  • Saurabh Gupta
    • 2
  • Regina Birner
    • 1
  1. 1.Hans-Ruthenberg InstituteUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Center for Development Policy and ManagementIndian Institute of ManagementUdaipur (IIM Udaipur)India

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