SA the only country thriving in Africa’s bioeconomy

With climate change taking centre stage, understanding what bioeconomy is, is important given its focus on using renewable biological resources that are sustainably produced

Climate change: Agriculture, forestry and other land-use sectors generate nearly half of total greenhouse gas emissions in Africa. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Agriculture, forestry and other land-use sectors generate nearly half of total greenhouse gas emissions in Africa. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

It’s a reality Mzansi! We are living in a world threatened by climate change and Africa is seemingly heating up faster than the global average. To fight back, the mother continent will have to tap into its bioeconomy and find unique and innovative solutions for its delicate ecosystem.

But what exactly is bioeconomy and why should you care? In its most recent climate change article, agricultural publication FoodforAfrika.com unpacks Africa’s bioeconomy and points to various benefits.

Bioeconomy is a set of economic activities, an alternative to our present fossil-dependent model, in which renewable biological resources are sustainably produced.

This is to replace fossil fuels in various forms of consumption and production, to produce products for final and intermediate consumption.

Oluwaseun James Oguntuase, a Nigerian researcher and expert on the development of the African bioeconomy, explains in the article that productivity in several African countries, “depends on natural resources, climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism”.

He also points to climate-sensitive infrastructures such as houses, buildings, municipal services, and transportation networks

Mzansi, the only thriving bioeconomy

Furthermore, Oguntuase details when the idea of bioeconomy first started and when it drew widespread attention from scientists and policymakers.

He also explores the multiple benefits of the bioeconomy such as reducing reliance on fossil-based resources and addressing the climate-related issues linked with the usage of fossil fuels.

The Nigerian researcher explains why he believes the bioeconomy will help improve food security and aid human development.

“Around 50% of harvest losses caused by environmental factors are down to drought, and it is expected that this proportion will continue to rise as a result of climate change,” Oguntuase says.

In the article, you can also find out why South Africa is recognised as the only thriving bioeconomy on the continent, while other countries lag behind.

This article was written by Lucinda Dordley and originally published on FoodForAfrika.com.

Read the full story here.

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