SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE: GLIRICIDIA SEPIUM
The primary biomass crop used is Gliricidia Sepium, a fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing, high calorific value tree which coppices well and is abundant in Sri Lanka.
It is the most attractive of the biomass sources, as the branches grow in a very straight form, reaching several feet in length and are ready for harvest once in every 18 months in dry zone and once in every 12 months in wet zone of Sri Lanka. Gliricidia trees can be harvested for at least 20 years by using sustainable harvesting methods – where the trunk and roots are left intact.
A native plant of Mexico and Central America, Gliricidia was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 18th century to provide shade to coffee plants and is now pervasive across the country.
Sri Lankan farmers have known and used Gliricidia for centuries. Its natural uses are well known by Sri Lankan farmers and include use as fencing, shading, support tree, animal fodder, fertilizer, insecticide, and fuelwood.
WE SUPPLY GLIRICIDIA AS FUELWOOD
Sustainable and ethical biomass sourced fuel is used to replace fossil fuels – i.e. fuel oil in industrial boilers and coal in power stations.
Biomass Group has the most sustainable biomass fuel in the world. We do not acquire any land to establish fuelwood plantations and actively discourages mono-cultivation – which is not seen in nature. The production of biomass fuel enhances rather than competes with food production. We encourage small holder farmers, plantations and other supply partners to plant a triple fence of Gliricidia around their land as well as intercropping it with existing cash crops.
We use an outgrower model where smallholder farmer suppliers own the land and produce biomass feedstock alongside increased food production connecting smallholder farmers to the global bio-energy value chain. We work with agricultural communities across the country to increase their economic returns from both biomass fuel and food production – as well as delivering broader social and environmental benefits. Many of the registered farmers are women of the household.
Biomass Supply out grower model is based on a combination of agriculture extension and supplier contracting that is designed to ensure a mutual benefit. The result is that Biomass Group can aggregate millions of tons of biomass feedstock, and farmers can realize a significant income improvement as well as income security.
Since 2013, Biomass Group has been making deliveries of Gliricidia sticks to local industries in Sri Lanka. These companies require steam generated by biomass boilers. This has enabled Biomass Group to develop grassroots level communications with farmers and gain critical insights into how best to organize collections and supply logistics from our farmer suppliers.