Agricultural Waste as a Biofuel

Cities and industry aren’t the only source of waste in Ukraine. The country’s agricultural sector, which produces over 50 million tons of grain annually, generates huge amounts of straw as a by-product. When compressed into pellets, it burns at temperatures high enough to substitute for natural gas or coal to provide heating.

In Malyn, a town of 27,000 in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr Region, USAID is advising city officials on a PPP to heat schools using straw pellets as an alternative, renewable biofuel. The PPP will reduce costs, enable the schools to operate at warmer temperatures, and provide local producers of pellets with a new market.

Furthermore, heating with agricultural waste doesn’t contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions, as the carbon released by burning equals the carbon absorbed by crops during the growing season. The PPP tender was completed in the first quarter of 2014.

PPPs in Agriculture Seminar: Papers, Presentations and Materials

On December 5, 2013, P3DP co-organized an International Conference with the Ukrainian Agrarian Business Club: Doing Agribusiness in Ukraine: Perspectives for 2014. At the plenary session, P3DP’s international expert Edward White spoke to over 300 participants about the use of PPPs in agriculture, drawing from global experience. During a break-out session on PPPs in Agriculture, P3DP led a discussion focused on developing pilot PPP projects in the Ukrainian agricultural sector.

Over 30 participants from private companies, professional associations, academic institutions and USAID projects discussed various aspects of PPPs in Ukraine with great interest and an emphasis on specific experience. Although none of the projects discussed were launched under Ukraine’s PPP law, there is ample experience, particularly in USAID projects, that illustrates the mechanisms and benefits of private sector participation in the development of agricultural infrastructure.

Mykola Hrytsenko, USAID Agroinvest Project Manager of Market Infrastructure Development, discussed their experiences partnering with local governments in developing infrastructure for agrarian markets. Viktor Andrievskiy, Director of the Agricultural Markets Development  Institute, which is implementing the USAID Water for Crimean Agri-sector Project, shared the experience of using PPP models for renovating the water supply infrastructure for rural populations and agricultural production in Crimea. Ruslan Tormosov, Director of USAID Local Alternative Energy Solutions in Myrhorod, talked about his vision of using a PPP to establish a logistical center for providing steady supply of biomass to boiler houses.

Following the Conference, P3DP wrote an article, Public-Private Partnerships in Agriculture: International Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Ukraine, which highlights areas where PPPs are used internationally in agriculture, including an analysis of the Ukrainian legal and institutional framework.

You can download speaker papers and presentations at the following links:

  • Practical Experiences in Ukraine: Partnering with Local Governments in Developing Infrastructure for Agrarian Markets by Mykola Hrytsenko, Manager of Market Infrastructure Development, USAID Agroinvest Project (Ukrainian).
  • Use of PPP for Establishing a Logistical Center for Providing a Steady Supply of Biomass to a Network of Boiler Houses by Ruslan Tormosov, Executive Director, ICF Municipal Development Institute (Ukrainian).
  • Use of PPP models for Renovation of the Water Supply Infrastructure for Rural Populations and Agricultural Production in Crimea, by Viktor Andrievskiy, Director Agricultural Markets Development Institute, USAID Water for Crimean Agri-sector  (Ukrainian).