Soros invests $9M in Clean Star Mozambique’s ethanol cookstove project, to boost farmer income, fight emissions

September 21, 2012 |

In New York, the Soros Economic Development Fund and the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries today announced investments of nearly $9 million in CleanStar Mozambique, with the option to invest more in potential pan-African expansion. The new investment will create 1,000 new jobs in Mozambique by late 2014 and will help to substantially improve the incomes of smallholder farmers. CleanStar Mozambique will be able to support 2,000 smallholder farming families to increase production of nutritious staple food crops and surplus cassava, with the latter being used to make ethanol-based cooking fuel.

The investment will also help the company expand its cooking fuel distribution and retail infrastructure to reach 80,000 customers in Maputo by late 2014. Each ethanol cook stove will enable net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of approximately eight tons of CO2-equivalent per year versus a traditional charcoal stove. Taken to scale, this business will significantly reduce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change.

CleanStar Mozambique helps participating farmers transition from slash-and-burn subsistence farming to a “conservation-agriculture” based approach that produces sustainable crop surpluses and boosts their income. The company provides the farmers with improved planting materials and technical assistance and then purchases whatever food products the families themselves do not consume at rural agricultural centers based around the company’s first integrated processing plant in Dondo.

Surplus cassava is converted to ethanol-based cooking fuel, flour, and chicken feed, while surplus beans, sorghum, pulses, and soya are processed into packaged food products for sale in Mozambique’s cities.

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