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Implementation and Case Studies

Science Forum 2018 Case Study // Examining Tradeoffs in the Allocation of Biomass Energy Sources to Domestic and Productive Uses in Ethiopia

By Dawit Mekonnen, Elizabeth Bryan, Tekie Alemu, Claudia Ringler. Rural households in Ethiopia have limited options to meet their domestic energy needs because they lack access to modern fuels and technologies. This study looked at the tradeoff between the use of biomass such as cow dung, fuel wood, and crop residues for domestic cooking and heating purposes, instead of leaving the biomass on the field to improve soil organic matter.

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The results show that the use of dung as a domestic fuel source has reduced farm productivity in Ethiopia, as soil organic matter is being removed from the field to meet household energy demand, a problem that is not solved by increased use of chemical fertilizers due to complementarities in chemical fertilizers and soil organic matters. Farm households, particularly women and girls, spend quite significant number of hours a week in search for fuelwood to meet domestic energy demand, a time that could have been used in productivity-enhancing activities. The amount of time households spend in search of fuelwood, cow dung, and crop residues does not meaningfully differ by households’ access to electricity because in many households, electricity is being used primarily for lighting purposes.

On the other hand, the use of on-farm fuelwood is associated with increased value of agricultural output. On-farm production of fuelwood appears to increase the value of crop output and provide labor savings, by making fuelwood collection more convenient for households. Policy interventions to support the expansion of agroforestry and increase access to new energy-efficient technologies are needed to ensure that agricultural productivity can be both increased and sustained (Mekonnen et al., 2017).



January 2017


Agricultural Economics, Volume 48, Issue 4, July 2017, Pages 425-435


More on the Nexus in Ethiopia

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Modelling and Assessment

Holistic Water-Energy-Food Nexus for Guiding Water Resources Planning // Matagorda County, Texas Case

By Muhammed I. Kulat, Rabi H. Mohtar and Francisco Olivera. The authors developed a holistic framework to provide sustainable scenarios that include feasible infrastructure interventions. The framework focuses on water and associated links with other resources, includes a unique analytic tool for quantifying scenarios, and ultimately produces a sustainability analysis of each scenario. Optimal scenarios are offered that consider site-specific dynamic resource interlinkages. The WEF nexus model...

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Solar-powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)

Pompage Solaire // Investigation de l’impact des installations de pompage solaire sur la consommation d’eau et la situation socio-économique d’un agriculteur dans 3 zones pilotes au Maroc

Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre comment la conversion au pompage solaire peut influencer la consommation d'eau et les conditions socio-économiques d'un agriculteur marocain par rapport aux autres systèmes de pompage d'eau. L'étude s'est appuyée sur une enquête menée auprès de 150 agriculteurs répartis sur les territoires suivants 3 zones distinctes : la zone de Marrakech, la zone de Midelt et la zone de Tata. L'étude a été réalisée par le projet GIZ Sustainable Energy for Food - Powering...

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WEF Nexus Research // Engaging Stakeholders in Research to address Water–Energy–Food (WEF) Nexus Challenges

By A. Larkin, C. McLachlan, R. Falconer, I. Soutar, J. Suckling, L. Varga, I. Haltas, A. Druckman, D. Lumbroso, M. Scott, D. Gilmour, R. Ledbetter, S. McGrane, C. Mitchell, D. Yu. This paper reflects on recent progress in stakeholder engagement in nexus-related research. The authors outline four emerging themes within nexus research and consider the value of, and potential challenges for, transdisciplinary research in each. Specifically, the authors examine how transdisciplinary approaches are...

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