There is increasing interest and investment in the bioeconomy in the Western Cape and South Africa. This encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.
Opportunities: Fast facts
The Western Cape agriculture and agri-processing sectors are significant in terms of financial contributions to the economy, labour intensity and carbon intensity. As a result, the food value chain is a key focus area for provincial economic growth and interventions to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy. The biggest opportunities in the Western Cape's bioeconomy are in:
- Improving resource productivity, or doing more with less, within key sectors of the economy is critical. The availability, quality and increasing cost of resources (e.g. water, energy and raw materials) may limit aspirations for economic growth and job creation.
More effective use of resources
- For local businesses, more effective use of resources has several benefits such as cost savings, improved competitiveness and enabling potential investment to expand or diversify, thereby fuelling economic growth and contributing to the safeguarding of existing businesses.
Driving resource productivity
- Two strategies can be applied in terms of driving resource productivity:Improving resource efficiency and value-add or waste beneficiation.
GreenCape's work in this space
The vision of GreenCape's Bioeconomy Programme is for bio-based resources such as organic residues (e.g. wood chips, spoilt fruit) and waste (e.g. abattoir waste and manure) to be used sustainably and in a way that creates resilience, benefit the economy and create jobs.
The programme is primarily focused on unlocking the potential of the province's bio-based resources and driving the 'greening' of agricultural value chains. We do this by promoting investments in green technologies, processes and systems.
Our work on bioeconomy centre around bioenergy and resource productivity in Western Cape food value chains and comprise of the following projects:
The programme also works closely with GreenCape’s industry-facing sector desks, particularly the agriculture sector desk, and the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) to disseminate project insights and implementation of recommendations.
Further detail on the Bioeconomy Programme is provided in this poster.