The SFM project held a 3-day Business Forum for woodlot developers, fuelwood dealers, efficient woodstoves producers/sellers and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) from June 19-21, 2018 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Calabar, Cross River State. The forum created an opportunity for fuelwood value chain actors to interact among themselves, exchange experiences, develops skills, and share knowledge and ideas on innovative business and financing models.
Over 70% of Nigeria’s estimated 180 million inhabitants still rely on fuel-wood in meeting their energy needs for cooking and heating. The unsustainable and constant use of fuel-wood by Nigerian households and institutions is one of the causes of deforestation and land degradation in Nigeria.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders are supporting the implementation of a 5-Year project: “Sustainable Fuel Wood Management (SFM) in Nigeria”, which commenced in June 2017. The SFM project encourages effective forest management for sustainable fuelwood production and consumption for multiple environmental benefits in Cross River, Delta and Kaduna states for the next 5 years.
The Business forum focused on the establishment of smallholder farmers-managed woodlot; establishment of sustainable fuelwood markets; promotion of energy-efficient woodstoves through market based approaches with community-based micro-credits to incentivize woodlot owners and end-users of cookstoves. Presenters at the forum included: Mr. Femi Oye, Managing Director, SMEFunds; Mrs. Happy Amos, Managing Director, Roshan Global Services Ltd; Mr. Biodun Olaore, Country Director, Envirofit Nigeria; Mrs. Habiba Ali, Managing Director, Sosai Renewable Energy Ltd; Dr. Ladipo from CENRAD Consulting Ltd; Sir Daniel Ugbama, Chief Executive Officer, Communal Rural Entrepreneurial Initiative of Nigeria; Sir. (Hon) Prosper Irogbo, Chairman, Delta State Micro Finance Bank; Hon. Bette Obi, Cross River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC); and Dr. I. F. Okafor, National Centre for Energy Research and Development (NCERD), Nsukka among others.
Enhanced cooperation among fuelwood value chain actors was a major outcome of the Forum. The Forum also led to the government’s intention to integrate sustainable fuelwood management considerations more rapidly into the ongoing national forest conservation process.
Participants at the Forum included: Smallholder farmers, commercial fuel wood dealers, manufacturers/promoters of energy efficient cookstoves, Micro Finance Institutions, forestry experts, members of the SFM Project Steering Committee (PSC) from the relevant Ministries Department and agencies (MDAs), Research Institutions, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) as well as the Media.
For more information, please contact: Engr. Okon N. Ekpenyong, email@example.com