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RSB Works with Boeing to Expand Opportunities for Asian Farmers

27 December 2013

MALAYSIA - The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has launched an initiative, with the help of The Boeing Company, to support small farmers in Southeast Asia by expanding their opportunities to grow feedstocks that produce sustainable fuels.

More than 60 participants from 15 countries attended a three-day South-East Asian workshop on 'Sustainable Biomaterials for Better Livelihoods' that participants said successfully met local and global objectives.

The workshop, held in Kuala Lumpur on 4-6 December, was hosted by the RSB with the support of Boeing. The RSB and other partners launched this programme to understand and address the challenges for smallholder farmers in accessing markets for sustainable biofuels and biomaterials.

The workshop aimed to support rural development and enhance livelihoods for smallholders using sustainability standards through case studies and hands-on experience.

Several case studies of small scale biofuel production from across the region involving different types of smallholder production and organization were utilised for discussion during the workshop.

The participants were also invited to develop strategies and mechanisms to scale up sustainable production and enhance sustainability and economic benefits of smallholder production.

"We will work with partners from across the region to identify how we can join together to help small farmers improve their production and income," said Rolf Hogan, Executive Secretary of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

"Certifying small farmers is the surest way to ensure sustainable biofuels that not only reduce carbon emissions but also improve the livelihoods of rural communities."

"Southeast Asia, one of the world's fastest-growing regions for commercial aviation, has great potential to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel industry that also offers opportunities for smallhold farmers to improve their livelihoods," said Julie Felgar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Managing Director of Environmental Strategy and Integration.

"To help develop that potential, Boeing is working closely with partners such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials to ensure positive outcomes for the aviation industry, the environment and, most importantly, the people of Southeast Asia. This is part of Boeing's efforts to build better communities worldwide."

A workshop recently took place in Mexico to launch a similar initiative in Latin America which will continue in 2014 with Boeing support. Another similar initiative will also be launched in South Africa next year.

TheCropSite News Desk

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