Energy security depends on the constant availability and supply of affordable energy for consumers and industry. Many countries, however, face risks to their energy security. These risks come in the form of disruptions to the supply of imported fossil fuels, limited availability of fuel and energy price spikes, which in turn can have drastic consequences for national economies and development. The possibility of deriving biofuels from locally grown sources and using them as alternatives to petroleum products is therefore attractive to many countries that today depend largely on fossil fuels. (http://fgvprojetos.fgv.br/en/home)
Towards a Solution
In the 1980s, the Brazilian higher education institution Fundação Getúlo Vargas (FGV) created FGV Projetos for Biofuels in order to research and develop viable responses to this challenge. The aim is to enable countries with little or no oil reserves to achieve greater fuel security on their own and produce fewer greenhouse gases, which ultimately contributes to their social and economic development and poverty reduction through sustainable agricultural production systems.
FGV Projetos, the FGV technical advisory unit in charge of using the academic knowledge generated and assembled at the FGV schools and institutes, offers a global interconnected network of expertise on biomass energy (and other development topics) that is transforming how countries in the tropical belt in Latin America and Africa approach and adopt modern, clean, renewable energy sources. When choosing a project, FGV Projetos considers how it would foster social inclusion and technology transfer, building on best practices in the field at all stages. This includes the participation of Brazilian experts during implementation and management in tandem with the commitment of the technical team to provide training and transfer know-how. Activities take place in agricultural regions that have experienced minimal environmental impact as well as in those already degraded and outside conservation areas. They focus on developing business models in participation with communities of small-scale farmers, and on training and capacity-building of local agricultural extension workers and individual farmers with respect to issues such as value chains, technology packages and environmental sustainability.
FGV Projetos rolls out its biofuel projects in phases that include: gathering data; conducting assessments; developing agrarian development blueprints; undertaking production capacity surveys; developing pioneer farming projects in priority areas; performing socioeconomic studies and socio-financial feasibility analyses; using the FGV Projetos food and bioenergy implementation guide; reaching out to public- and private-sector actors; and undertaking maintenance, monitoring and evaluation. The FGV Projetos methodology adopts innovative technologies for the zoning of land suitable for cultivation of biomass agricultural crops. The recommended technology package is based on positive experiences of crops in similar regions in Brazil as well as examples of social inclusion, including good practices in sustainability.
To date, FGV Projetos has conducted more than 60 feasibility studies in 18 countries, contributing to the development of agriculture, biofuels and infrastructure. In the tropical belt, it is conducting studies on the viability of biomass projects under a technical cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil and countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. A number of projects are being undertaken in 12 countries, including Haiti and other Caribbean countries, Honduras and Senegal. FGV Projetos is also engaged in ProSAVANA, a triangular cooperation programme for agricultural development of the tropical savannah of Mozambique, conducted as part of an international partnership between Mozambique, Brazil and Japan. ProSAVANA aims to transfer Brazilian know-how in agribusiness by providing technical support to increase agricultural productivity in the Nacala corridor, located in the north of Mozambique, thereby contributing to the country’s food security and the competitiveness of its rural sector. FGV Projetos has played a key role by developing the ProSAVANA master plan along with an investment fund specially designed to attract investments to the Nacala corridor. In this way, FGV Projetos is helping to further economic development, social inclusion and environmental progress in Mozambique.
FGV Projetos, through its unique project approach, aims to design an agricultural development plan that contributes to social and economic development by engaging private and public investment to promote a sustainable production system and reduce poverty. The projects have strong capacity-building and training components, promote new legislation to drive the uptake of new methods and innovations, use edaphoclimatic zoning for biofuel production, develop programmes that regulate investments and promote productive arrangements, and foster long- term investment strategies. The studies produced form the basis of other planned projects, such as the master plan of the Nacala corridor. The Government of Mozambique has used zoning to guide sustainable land use.
The FGV Projetos Brazilian model has been reproduced successfully in participating countries thanks to technical cooperation protocols with partner countries to promote the model in regions with similar climate conditions, strong local partnerships, and an advantageous agribusiness model that promises long- term cost savings and sustainable benefits.
Beneficiaries and partners include farming communities, agricultural production facilities, the Governments of Brazil and Mozambique, the European Community and the Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. FGV Projetos focuses on project development, while Governments such as that of Mozambique provide general support (logistics, information from previous studies, contact networks and reviews of project results). The European Community focuses on a project’s methodology and the review of final results. The Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. provides financial support.
Contact: FGV Projetos firstname.lastname@example.org
Project name: FGV Projetos for BioFuels
Countries: Brazil and Mozambique (with experience of 13 other countries in the tropical belt: Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, Zambia
Sustainable Development Goal targets: 7.a, 12.2
Supported by: Vale S.A.
Implementing entity: FGV Projetos
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 1980s to present
URL for the practice: http://fgvprojetos.fgv.br/en/home