Circular Economy Agribusiness

moderated by Lisette van Benthum

The network identified four overarching thematic areas that will guide us in the years 2018-2022: Inclusive agribusiness, Climate smart agribusiness, Circular economy agribusiness and Nutrition-sensitive agribusiness. These four themes are also closely aligned with the objectives of the Dutch development agenda regarding food security.

Around its thematic focus the AgriProFocus network will develop and implement network programmes, globally and in the country networks.

Within this thematic focus members in the Netherlands and in country networks have expressed a clear need to target the work of AgriProFocus to specific issues based upon the following criteria:

  • Zoom in on issues that currently block the development of a vibrant agripreneurs sector, and to opportunities to overcome this.

  • Choose those issues that various stakeholders encounter, but that no-one can solve individually - so-called ‘wicked problems’ or ‘complex problems’.

  • The networks joint solutions should be on sharing, co-creating and scaling-up practical action perspectives and business strategies for agripreneurs.

For 2018 AgriProFocus has selected, based on member interest, global ‘burning issues’ per theme. On each issue/opportunity we will facilitate exchange and reflection on results, experiences and lessons learned of members. Every theme will lead to a ‘publication’ (print/video) for members and broader audiences. Our ambition is that these insights spark opportunities for further network activities, using our signature network solutions (Linking, Learning, Leadership) to create joint network programmes.

Circular Economy Agribusiness

The current infrastructure pattern of production, logistics and consumption leads to an enormous flow of food waste and missed business opportunities (an estimated 30 percent of agricultural production in Africa and Asia is lost). Logistics, trade, and processing infrastructure are considered as critical bottlenecks. Most wastage occurs within and between agribusiness companies during agricultural production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and distribution. AgriProFocus members support initiatives, innovations, entrepreneurial farmers and agribusinesses that integrate the reduction of food losses in their business models, for example by exploring opportunities for post-harvest technologies and for making profitable new products from rest and by-products. The following burning issues have been identified with members:

  • There is no such thing as waste: Innovative solutions to reduce post-harvest losses and food wastage. The goal is to jointly explore and showcase the innovation in LMIC countries that post-harvest losses (food wastage) can be reduced and/or prevented: to make the business case that waste = value. The availability of rest- and byproducts can be a driver for new food ventures, or help completing the business case for existing ventures. Particular attention will be given to tackling post-harvest losses in fresh fruits and vegetables value chains, in view of maintaining the nutritional value, and enhancing access for low income consumers.

  • Soil Fertility – Closing nutrient loops through smart business solutions. The goal is to gather some of the best ‘circular economy’ solutions that work to enhance soil fertility, both at farmer level and in value chains (e.g. local compost traders; value addition to byproducts). This work will help demonstrating the investment opportunities created in integrated soil fertility management, and mitigating the risks associated to climate change and scarcity of natural resources (particularly, specific nutrients).

Keep an eye on this page for updates around these burning issues!

Global Lead Circular Economy Agribusiness: Lisette van Benthum


Posted By in AgriProFocus Kenya
Posted 16 January 2018 at 12:44

Circular Economy : Strategic reasons why we should make it work Globally.

The effort to find global solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be urgent in 2018 than it has never been. Given the rapid growth of world population and the shrinking economic fortunes,unsustainable food production coupled with unstable political environment in most developing countries, call for change of habits and strategies in seeking solution to persistent social problems the world faces today is mandatory. The challenges we face have been created and build over time; in deed the world reluctance to solve them accelerated their compound interest, these social evils as Daniel Goleman calls them in his book Focus can be solved but again as Albert Einstein opines “ We cannot solve our current problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Hence we need new thinking.

This new thinking in my opinion, just like many other thinkers have indicated lies in embracing Circular

... Read more

Posted By in Circular Economy Agribusiness
Posted 8 January 2018 at 10:21

Circular Economy is a significant step towards achieving Zero hunger goal, creating employment and solving climate change challenges. In deed starting with Agriculture  would help us increase the probability  of averting major crisis of food insecurity by over 50%.  

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 30 October 2017 at 01:25

Circular Agribusiness in the dairy sector: Let’s close the loops?

“Closing the loops within the dairy farm can save resources, finances, and create new value for both the farmer, the direct environment, and the neighboring farmers.”

Dutch Network meeting with Van Hall Larenstein students & AgriProFocus members- 26 October 2017

There is an interesting potential to enhance circularity in the dairy sector as well as in other agricultural sectors. Applying circular economy principles in agribusiness helps to save resources, to reduce the amount of waste and the negative environmental impact, and creates value. A ‘circular dairy economy’ tool developed by VHL Master student Mr. Mehrab Marri was discussed in a network meeting with AgriProFocus members and VHL students. The meeting generated interesting ideas for further learning on the concepts and practice of Circular Economy Agribusiness.

Introduction Circular Dairy Economy by Mr. Mehrab Marri

There is a clear need to change minds

... Read more

Rose Marijani Thanks Nicole for information about the presentation of circular dairy economy.

2 months 2 weeks ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Tanzania
Posted 16 October 2017 at 12:10

CIRCULAR AGRICULTURE: PEANUT SHELL FOR CHARCOAL MAKING!

An interview with young man who invented a charcoal machine.

AgriProFocus had an opportunity to interview a young man who is a founder of Green Power Group in Tabora region which deals with making charcoal by using waste products and peanut shells.

With the background of Law degree he dedicate his time to conserve the environment. His full name is Idrissa Khamisi Nyachenga born and raised in Kaliua, Tabora region. Idrissa says “I started working on my idea when I was still at the university after a thought of what will I do in case I will not be able to find a job after college”. Most of his time spent in library doing research about environment and what to do to make a different that will also be an employment for him and his community.

Green Power Group turn waste product into charcoal and invented a charcoal making machine, Idrissa said “I got an idea of making charcoal machine from the Chinese social network and simplify it to my

... Read more
oct
26

Circular Agribusiness in Dairy: let’s close the loops?

Event posted by in Van Hall Larenstein University
  26 October 2017, 17:30-19:30
  Van Hall Larenstein University - Velp

Agri-Food chains are based on linear principles, the call for a circular economy is big. The dairy farming industry claims to be based on circular principles, however, in many countries it is solely linear.

Which solutions for circularity do we have in agribusiness? Are these solutions climate-smart or inclusive? And what can we learn from each other?

You are invited to discuss these topics, together with members of the network and students from Van Hall Larenstein University during an informal dinner meeting!

To join, simply send an e-mail to Janine Schoeman (jschoeman@agriprofocus.com) before the 20th of October.

See you on Thursday the 26th!

Marco Verschuur

Coordinator Master Agricultural Production Chain Management - Van Hall Larenstein
Host and Lead for this meeting



Posted By in AgriProFocus Indonesia
Posted 11 July 2017 at 07:44

Mengenal Ekonomi Sirkuler di Indonesia

Penelitian Faktor yang Mempengaruhi Promosi Ekonomi Sirkular di Indonesia untuk Kebangkitan Kerjasama Agribisnis oleh Sahat M. Pasaribu

Konsep ekonomi sirkuler sebenarnya telah dilakukan sejak lama di Indonesia, khususnya pada industri besar dan menengah, namun belakangan ini perencanaan pembangunan ekonomi kurang memperhatikannya. Perusahaan-perusahaan pabrik kertas dan perkebunan besar termasuk diantara usaha ekonomi yang melaksanakan konsep ini. Pada skala ekonomi yang lebih kecil dalam bidang pertanian, kerjasama antara perusahaan besar dengan pertanian rakyat sudah berlangsung dengan baik, memberikan keuntungan ekonomi, memperbaiki kualitas lingkungan dan menjanjikan persaingan yang kompetitif. Masyarakat sebenarnya sudah menerapkan konsep ekonomi sirkuler pada sistem usahatani terintegrasi yang mereka lakukan, namun perkembangannya masih kurang memuaskan.

Faktor-faktor yang terkait dengan kelembagaan sangat berperan dalam mempromosikan

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Tanzania
Posted 5 July 2017 at 08:39

ONLINE DISCUSSION: WHAT DOES CIRCULAR ECONOMY MEAN FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION

Agriculture is a critical sector to many developing economies such as Tanzania. The sector provides food, income and bio resources that sustain societies.  Circular economy principles can offer many opportunities for growth of this sector.

In definition, Circular Economy mode of production the manner in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, there is extraction of  maximum value from them whilst in use and finally there is the recovering  and regenerating of  products and materials at the end of each service life. It is in contrast to a ‘linear economy’ which is a 'take, make, dispose' model of production.

In this discussion we aim at exploring the role of circular economy in agriculture by answering this question:

What do you think is the role of circular economy in sustainable agriculture production?

****************************************************************************

... Read more

Hilda Okoth An example from Tanzania that is using the circular economy approach is the Hakika Organic fertilizer produced from poorly disposed organic waste from food markets and residential areas. I would like to invite  Azalia William to share with us more about their approach on produce this 100% organic fertilizer and what role he sees of this approach in producing other products for agriculture production

6 months 2 weeks ago

Marianga Baltazari Circular economy is about decoupling growth from resource consumption and maximising the positive environmental, economic and social effects. Its about designing products that are easier to reuse or recycle. Its about making sure that every product is biodegradable or fully recyclable. With the circular economy waste is eliminated from production and making sure any waste is recovered as a valuable resource whether its heat, slurry, nutrients, organic materials etc. This therefore involves engaging the end users throughout the product's life cycle and hence gaining competitive advantage. 

6 months 2 weeks ago

Hilda Okoth Thank you for your contribution. You have shed more light on what circular economy really is. My next question to you would be what then is the role of circular economy in agriculture production? Do you have examples from Tanzania that are already working in with this model? Or what examples in other parts of the world that can be adopted to Tanzania so we can enjoy the benefits of the circular economy model?

6 months 2 weeks ago

Michael Farrelly

What is the role of the circular economy in sustainable agriculture production? As I understand it, circular economy is an alternative to the current ‘linear economy’ and its ‘make, use, dispose’ approach. In agriculture we see this unsustainable wasteful and expensive practice across the board. Farmers are told by extension workers to buy hybrid seeds, which can only be used once then thrown away, and told to buy imported chemical fertilizer and reapply it every season.

 

Such is the faith in chemical fertilisers that it came as a complete revelation to farmers in Tanzania’s Dodoma region that you can fertilise your fields with animal manure. Agro-pastoralist farmer Gilbert Masiga explained: “The project has changed me. In the past I was not using farmyard manure in my farm but now it is a great resource. Combined with Good Agriculture Practices I am now getting enough food for my family and surplus for sale. I advise other livestock keepers to preserve livestock feed for use during the dry season and use farmyard manure to increase crop yield.”

 

So Gilbert is now applying the circular economy approach by making the most of his natural resources, collecting cattle manure from his animals, using it to fertilse his fields, increasing his yields, then collecting the crop residues and storing them for dry season animal feeding.

So why are farmers being told to buy imported fertilizer? Because it apparently makes more economic sense to pump non-renewable fossil fuel from beneath the ocean floor, convert it to chemical fertilizer, ship it halfway round the world, generating corporate profits and greenhouse gas emissions at every step, and then sell it for a dollar a kilogram to farmers like Gilbert living on less than a dollar a day.

But make sure you do not factor in to your economic calculations the downstream damage to the environment through chemical contamination of soils, rivers and oceans. Otherwise people might notice it makes no sense. 

6 months 1 day ago

Hilda Okoth Thanks Michael Farrelly for a good example of how circular economy is and can be put in practice even at farmer levels. Fr m your comment to me this is not a new thing however, the linear economy approach came in with so much emphasis that it overshadowed the circular economy. What do you think can be done to make more visibility of different example that have worked to promote more the circular economy and possibly eliminate the make-use -dispose approach?

6 months 1 day ago