Uganda Centre of Excellence

The Green Elephant sustainable development goals
August 31, 2018
Cut expenses with briquettes
September 2, 2018

Uganda Centre of Excellence

Valorising biomass for sustainable fuel, fertilizer, feed and food


  • Fuel made from grasses and bio-waste as an alternative to charcoal
  • Nutritious animal feed at a competitive price level
  • High-yield 100% natural fertilizer
  • Innovative plant-based protein products for a healthy human diet


    Deforestation, malnutrition and poor livestock management are big risks for Uganda. A group of Dutch companies aim to use cutting-edge biotechnology developed in The Netherlands to tackle these issues.

    Uganda promises to be an excellent market for Dutch biotech. There is a pressing need for a healthy, forest and pocket-friendly alternative to charcoal; a big gap in the market for more efficient animal feed and fertilizer; and a malnourished population that is sentenced to animal protein sources of questionable quality and deficient shelf life. Uganda is also a very fertile country rich in green waste and other biomass.

    A consortium of Dutch companies, including The Green Elephant, Grassa!, It’s Greenish, Mimi Moto and Healthy Entrepreneurs, aim to maximise the value of Uganda’s biomass using innovative biotechnologies and production methods. Their lessons and experiences will be passed on to Uganda through a Centre of Excellence.

    The cooking fuel of choice in Uganda is charcoal. Roughly 85% of all households uses charcoal daily, even though it causes deforestation, household air pollution and CO2-emmission. Regarding animal feed, the most used product (next to grass) is fishmeal and soy. Due to undernutrition, Ugandan cattle does not nearly produce as much dairy and meat as possible. Even worse, malnutrition is a pressing issue for the Ugandan population as well. The protein content of the national diet is at the bottom end of what the FAO recommends. The average Ugandan would eat more meat if he could afford it, even though much meat is of questionable quality, has low nutritional value and deficient shelf life.

    Using innovative biorefinery techniques the Dutch companies aim to offer Uganda affordable and sustainable solutions to all the issues mentioned above, all the while building strong commercial ties with their Ugandan partners.


    The group of Dutch companies works in close collaboration with Ugandan counterparts. The latter group in the capacity of suppliers, buyers and learning partners. Sharing knowledge about valorising different types of biomass is one of the key features of the intended Centre of Excellence. The following Ugandan companies and organisations are partners:

  • Xclusive Farms: outgrower, green waste supplier
  • KRC: feed tester, learning partner
  • NaLirri: feed, fertilizer tester, product developer
  • Bail: feed, fertilizer distributor
  • Sesaco: food ingredient supplier, distributor
  • East Africa Basic Foods: food ingredient supplier
  • Fresh Cuts: food producer
  • Mr. Tasty: food buyer, distributor
  • Capitol Shoppers: food distributor


  • Briquettes for industrial power
  • Pellets for use in consumer cookstoves
  • Fuel from green farm waste
  • Central heating plants
  • Feed and fertizizer:
  • Feedblocks
  • Fodder
  • Liquid Feed
  • Fertilizer
  • Food:
  • Plant-protein meat substitutes
  • High-protein easy to use foodstuffs for refugee-camps
    About the consortium

    The Uganda Centre of Excellence for the valorisation of biomass is an initiative by Dutch companies The Green Elephant, Grassa!, It’s Greenish, Mimi Moto and Healthy Entrepreneurs, supported by the Dutch foundation for sustainable business MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The consortium was formed in December 2017 and plans to establish the CoE in 2018-2021, after which it will be self-sustainable.

    More information

    Want to know more about the opportunities for valorising biomass in Uganda?

    Get in contact:

    Frans Tilstra
    Sustainable business developer
    T: +31 06 42216191