The goal is to reduce the rate of deforestation while maintain easy access to cooking fuel. Glad to say that we accomplished both over the long weekend in rural Zambia by training over 30 youth and women participants in turning agro waste into charcoal briquettes, as well as providing them all the tools necessary to go into production
BBC Interview on The entrepreneurs innovating against the odds in Zambia
27 May 2016 Last updated at 14:17 BST
Zambia is one of Africa's largest producers of copper but with global prices down, the economy has suffered a huge knock: Some mines are closing, the currency is weaker and the cost of living has gone up.
Big industry is reeling from the shocks and small business is shouldering a lot of the burden, too. But surprisingly, some entrepreneurs in the capital city of Lusaka are showing a great deal of resilience.
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In Zambia's capital Lusaka, Mutoba Ngoma saw a need for action -- and with his extensive background in aeronautical engineering, the shrewd businessman decided to do something about it.
With growing demand for cheaper and consistent fuel alternative, we pursued the option of processing non edible vegetable oils into biodiesel fuel. The indigenous plant we opted for is jatropha curcas plant, for its non edible vegetable oil and the potential to use the seed cake as livestock fodder.
The first step in this phase is to work with thousands of small scale farmers who have established jatropha curcas fields and hedges. Jatropha curcas is a shrub that grows up to 3 metres tall.
In Zambia it grows naturally as a wild tree, and each tree can bears up to 3.5 kilograms of oil bearing seed per year, based on rain fed irrigation only. for a small consumption base like Zambia, we would require only 100,000 SSF out of the ZNFU registered 500,000 SSF to each cultivated 1000 trees as natural barrier hedges for their fields to prevent wildlife from destroying their crops.
The trees are providing protection from wild life as well as generate an extra income for the farmers from the oil seed they will produce. Our oil expelling capacity is 800 kilograms of seed processed per day.