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FAO Launches Energy from Biomass Project in Argentina

FAO25 September 2012: The Government of Argentina and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed an agreement for a three-year project that seeks to triple biomass as a share of the Argentinian national energy balance by converting forest wastes, animal excreta and crop wastes into biogas and other forms of bioenergy.

The agreement for the PROBIOMASA Project to be implemented by FAO was signed on a 5 September 2012 ceremony presided over by Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

PROBIOMASA will be implemented via three avenues: capacity building and infrastructure development to enable sustainable use of agricultural biomass for energy production; elaboration of provincial strategies that promote entrepreneurship in bioenergy; and communications, advocacy and outreach campaigns to inform policymakers, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations and the general public in support of a national bioenergy policy. The project will seek to provide modern bioenergy services to at least 30 communities.

The project seeks to eventually convert 12 million metric tons of agriculture-related biomass annually, and in the process save some 9.2 billion Argentinian pesos (approximately US$2 billion) annually on imported fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing soil and water pollution, generating new rural jobs and improving socioeconomic conditions in isolated rural communities. [FAO Press Release (in Spanish)]