Sustainability Pillars of the project
API’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility is embodied throughout its business plan. API utilizes a bio-diverse portfolio of feedstock (non-food) crops with demonstrated success growing on semi-arid land in the region. The API project involves vast reforestation with oilseed-bearing trees that sequester CO2 for over 70 years, whereby API achieves a low-carbon life cycle for its fuels and reverses the trend of land degradation. The extension services that API provides enhance food security where feedstock crops may be inter-cropped with food crops. API’s rural employment does improve livelihood and reduce conflict in regions particularly vulnerable to climate change.
The oil crop farms and the refinery will create new jobs in a country whose unemployment rate is over 30%The project requires both skilled and unskilled labour. There will be capacity building (training and orientation for new employees and farmers) since the technology is new to the countries. The project extension services will lead to better farm practices and hence an improvement on the largely stressed food security situation in the region. By encouraging community participation/ownership, the project has significant impact on the livelihood of various sections of society such as the Landless Youth, Poor Women-Headed Households, Active Aged People and Schools.
The project contributes to economic sustainability as the locally produced biodiesel reduces fuel imports and the concomitant demand on foreign exchange. Growth of the industrial sector which leads to import substitution is a major focus of the national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). The project is also a revolutionary venture which will have a transformative impact on the economic development of communities like Tanqua Abergelle and Karamoja which have hitherto been largely unproductive in Ethiopia and Uganda respectively. This will eventually impact on the GDP and other economic growth indicators of the national economy. The project employs both men and women directly or indirectly. Sale of seeds to the project increases income levels of individuals. Those who work on the plantations earn their wages regularly and their stronger purchasing power has a multiplier effect on the cash economy of the rural areas. The oil seed crops are a viable cash crop option for the rural farmers.
The project will have a positive impact on the environment as it will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and leads to an increased sustainability in the fuel supply chain. It will also reduce the distances through which the fuel has to be transported from source to consumer service stations. Due to the higher combustion efficiency of the bio-diesel, there will be less pollution resulting from the operation of such engines. The project will lead to enrichment tree planting in several degraded areas in the Uganda and the Tigray region as more and more people seek to benefit from the new technology by producing oil seeds for sale to the company.
The Project Activity will provide a lifeline for the treatment of the water catchments that feed into the Tekeze hydropower dam in Ethiopia located some 70Km down the Areqa river valley that drains the Hozo tree nursery establishment of the Project Activity