BetterWorld Energy

Bioenergy Production on Degraded and Deforested Land in Zambia

This feasibility project was planned to determine how to create a sustainable networked business to enable rural communities to plant drought-resistant high-yielding Pongamia Pinnata on degraded and deforested land. These community plantations would be linked to central commercial plantations / processing hubs, located on similarly degraded peri-urban wasteland. Each hectare would produce as much as 9000 litres of biofuels and 60 tons of solid biomass. This would secure feedstock for modern bioenergy technologies to provide power and heat to rural and peri-urban communities. Production in excess of community requirements would be purchased at fair market prices and sold to the domestic market to meet national renewable energy targets. By-products generated from oilseed processing, such as pressed seedcake would be prepared and marketed as organic fertiliser, insecticide and animal fodder, to raise the level of agricultural productivity and potentially generate additional revenue streams. Through participation in the biofuel production and processing activities, rural and peri-urban communities would generate an income that permits them to obtain the energy services they require for domestic use, for transport, for agricultural mechanisation and other revenue generating economic activities.


Outcome and Impact:

EEP funding for the feasibility study has enabled BetterWorld Energy to engage in careful dialog with all relevant Government departments, which enabled BetterWorld Energy to obtain all the necessary permits required to establish a nursery and species trial of Elite Pongamia pinnata in Zambia. The EEP project assessed the feasibility of Elite Pongamia pinnata as a means of simultaneously addressing these three issues, whilst also providing organic fertiliser, animal fodder, bio-pesticides and health products from by-product valorisation. This project also revealed the potential for Pongamia agroforestry with small scale farmers, offering the potential to extend positive environmental and social impact to the thousands of rural off-grid communities.


Success Story: Betterworld Energy – First Company to Establish a Nursery of Elite Pongamia Pinnata in Sub-Saharan Africa >>

Project Developer



Total Project Budget

EUR 303 997

EEP Africa Financing

EUR 184 918


Biofuels Liquid



Project Period

2013 - 2015