Biofuels for local use
Bio-fuels get a lot of attention because of climate change and the limited resources of fossil fuels. STRO believes that the focus should be on local use, not on the export, of bio-fuel. Social TRade intends to foster local economies that are varied and sustainable. A community that offers only one commodity to the world market tends to lose its social and cultural structure. Social TRade emphasizes the development of diversified local economies. Production of fuels for local use is a logical first step.
Poor communities spend a huge part of the money earned through export on importing energy. This money cannot be used for capital goods that could raise the overall productivity and diversity of the community. For this reason the creation of local bio-fuels for local use is an area that can easily increase local purchasing power as well as its local circulation and thus contribute to our Social Trade goals. The technology to make direct use of these bio-fuels is available.
The Gota Verde project in Honduras shows that local people themselves can adapt engines of cars and generators to the use of Pure Plant Oils. It also shows that trees with oil containing seeds can contribute to the local ecosystem. Trees are used as fences, provide shade in which other crops can flourish, etc.
In the Gota Verde project the production of bio-fuels for local use, the use of appropriate technologies for local pressing of the oil, the adaptations of the machinery, etc is organized within a system in which micro credits are combined with a local exchange system. This local development is further strengthened by constructing eco-houses of local materials.
All of these applied ideas have contributed to a healthier, more sustainable economy.