Africa Department Competence Centre Cooperation with the Private Sector Agribusiness – Ethiopia Sustainable Supply Chain for Industrial Bamboo Production Objective: Establishing a sustainable supply chain of high-value composite bamboo materials for industrial production and for income generation amongst farmers; creating preconditions for more investments in the industrial bamboo sub-sector Partner: TC Programme: Fortune Enterprise Plc. (Blue Nile Furniture Factory) Engineering Capacity Building Programme (ECBP) Duration: 2009 – 2012 Problems: Uncovered supply chain and need for know-how transfer Ethiopia has over one million hectares of bamboo resources which corresponds to two thirds of all Africa’s current resources in the sector. There is high local and international demand for industrial bamboo production. Yet, product diversification and value adding are very limited in the local bamboo industry. Knowledge on the potential of the various possible products is still poor, particularly in regard to industrial goods and as an alternative material in construction. Know-how transfer for skills development, access to appropriate technology and standards is needed. Altogether, potentials of bamboo production for local construction and international markets remain still untapped. Our partner Fortune Enterprise Plc. produces wood furniture for household items such as doors, tables, kitchen, etc. With 130 employees it creates an annual turnover of 1.3 million Euros. The Blue Nile Furniture Factory belonging to the company wants to be the first to enter into a new market segment, producing bamboo panels, beams and blades. The project integrates further partners for knowledge transfer, training and support services. Contribution by Blue Nile Furniture Factory • Different trainings: in awareness creation on bamboo for industrial use, grading and standardisation, processing equipment, management of logistics and transportation • Training of trainers for two months in China and for half a year by a Chinese specialist in Ethiopia • Setting up equipment at the factory for all participants from the furniture sector and offering training space Contribution by GIZ • Promoting the formation of farmers’ associations • Provision of appropriate technology and training for pre-processing • Facilitating capacity development with technology transfer and upgrading skills in bamboo processing • Creation of a network and links with other associations, stakeholders and partners Contribution by other partners Ryle Technology Ltd., UK and Beijing Khan Wind technology Ltd., China: • Technology and skills transfer Forest Research Centre, Bureau of Agricultural and Rural Development, Forest Products Research and Utilisation Centre, Addis Ababa University: • Support services Strategy and activities The project focuses on an appropriate knowledge transfer and a sustainable supply chain for industrial bamboo production. High value-added products are introduced to the market, particularly panels and beams for the construction sector, and rotor blades for the emerging wind energy industry. Such bamboo reinforced polyester resins are applicable for other large-scale composite structures, too. For production, the required technology and skills transfer is mainly arranged with a Chinese partner, not only in the company but for the whole sector. To that effect the Addis Ababa University organises local knowledge transfer. A minimum of 7 trainers from the university and private companies are trained. Additionally, 100 employees of other furniture manufacturing companies and small or medium-sized enterprises are qualified. Training on the job for all participants takes place in the factory. Selected furniture makers participate in two months trainings in China. Regarding supply, smallholder farmers in Oromia Region will be organised in associations. In trainings, they gain skills in drying techniques as well as quality guidance regarding bamboo for industrial use. A purchase guarantee for the pre-processed culms is arranged with the partner. Job creation for women is focussed on and awareness on HIV/AIDS forms part of the training program. Relevance for the partner Blue Nile Furniture Factory is facing irregular and non-formalised supply of bamboo. It needs to create sustainable supply as well as technical capacity for working with complex bamboo composites. Competence to assist new product developments is still missing in Ethiopia. Interim Outcomes The underlying private industrial investment project has grown considerably bigger in size than originally anticipated. It requires 1,500 ha of own plantations (1,500 ha) and an outgrower area of 2,000 ha. The original target of 4 farmers’ cooperative in Ambo region would not be sufficient by far. Currently five co-op’s in Ambo region and six in Sidema region have been established and signed supply agreements. It is now expected to finally work with 30 groups. Works on two bamboo nurseries has started. Supply-chain managers were appointed to both regions, training on sustainable bamboo management to farmers, grading and standardization of bamboo culms and basic pre-processing techniques has provided. Gender issues and HIV/AIDS awareness were part of the training program. The development of the bamboo technology cluster is well Contact: Franz-Josef Batz E firstname.lastname@example.org Fortune Enterprise Plc.: Khalid M Duri E email@example.com 01.2012 under way and nearly completed. Two positions have been established at Addis Ababa University, refurbishment of infrastructure and equipment is carried out and a virtual network is in preparation. Research agreements are signed and implemented on bamboo architectural and structural design properties, norms for bamboo in the building industry and composite materials prototyping. Four academic staff members from various institutions participated in a bamboo study tour to China (bamboo plantations, nurseries, pre-processing plants, factories, show rooms, bamboo trade fair) together with project and company staff. Expected effects: Income generation – new market segment – positive environmental impact – competence pool Smallholder farmers improve their productivity, secure a predictable market for their products and take advantage from the new income generation opportunity. Production of high-value goods results in augmented returns per bamboo culm. Responsible plantation management and improved harvesting techniques warrant sustainability of the bamboo resource. Furthermore, bamboo has positive environmental friendly effects in terms of water retention and prevention of soil erosion. Blue Nile Furniture Factory is in a position to improve its market position by offering a new product range. The establishment of a bamboo competence cluster is possible and could help to foster South-South cooperation on bamboo in the entire region.