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Biogas at ADM Makomane Inhambane



Mozambique, like many developing nations, faces significant challenges in meeting its energy needs while simultaneously striving for sustainable development. In recent years, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has emerged as a key player in promoting renewable energy solutions in Mozambique, with a particular focus on biogas. Biogas technology offers a promising avenue for addressing energy poverty, environmental sustainability, and economic development in the country.

This article explores UNIDO's efforts in promoting biogas as a sustainable energy solution in Mozambique.


Mozambique is endowed with abundant biomass resources, including agricultural residues, animal manure, and organic waste.

“Cow dung and husk biogas are abundant and of high quality, there are fewer expenses as it technically reduces operational costs, having the advantage of efficiency, it is not toxic and not harmful to health.”, Samuel Gove: President, Samora Machel Cooperative.

However, the country's energy sector remains underdeveloped, with a significant portion of the population lacking access to modern and reliable energy services. Traditional fuels such as firewood and charcoal continue to dominate, leading to deforestation, indoor air pollution, and adverse health effects.

UNIDO recognizes the potential of biogas technology to address these challenges by utilizing organic waste to produce clean and renewable energy. Biogas systems capture methane emissions from decomposing organic matter and convert them into biogas, a versatile fuel that can be used for cooking, heating, and electricity generation.

UNIDO's Initiatives

UNIDO through the Towards Sustainable Energy for all in Mozambique (TSE4ALLM) project has been actively involved in promoting biogas technology in Mozambique through various initiatives aimed at building capacity, fostering innovation, and facilitating market development. Some key interventions include:

Capacity Building:

UNIDO conducts training programs and workshops to enhance the technical skills and knowledge of stakeholders involved in biogas project development, including policymakers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and farmers. These capacity-building efforts cover various aspects of biogas technology, including system design, construction, operation, and maintenance.

TSE4ALLM project Implementing partners like CHARIS Association, provide training for the installers and operators and establish small demonstration Biogas units in suitable small businesses and families processing coconut, cashew nuts and cassava in Inhambane Province.


Pilot Projects

UNIDO collaborates with local partners to implement pilot biogas projects across different regions of Mozambique. These projects serve as demonstration sites to showcase the feasibility and benefits of biogas technology in rural and peri-urban communities. By providing technical support and financial assistance, UNIDO helps to overcome barriers to adoption and scale up successful models.

In 2021, UNIDO in partnership with CHARIS-Associacao de Solidariedade Social, embarked on the process of the installation of simple, low-cost biogas plants for home and small business use in the coconut small businesses, cashew nut and cassava industries in the province of Inhambane province. The Josina Machel Cassava Processing Cooperative in Inharrime District produces 35,000 m3 (around 96 m3/day) of biogas for use in cooking (domestic, small, medium and large industries), refrigeration and lighting.

“Successful biogas demonstration units will promote interest in the community, so that adoption will become widespread. The early adopters will also gain experience and be able to promote the uses of Biogas and help other potential users”—Larsen Candido, Founder, CHARIS Association


Policy Support:

UNIDO engages with government agencies and policymakers to advocate for supportive policies and regulatory frameworks that facilitate the widespread deployment of biogas technology. This includes incentivizing investment, streamlining approval processes, and integrating biogas into national energy strategies and rural development plans.

Public Awareness

UNIDO conducts awareness campaigns and outreach activities to raise public awareness about the benefits of biogas technology and promote community participation. These efforts involve disseminating information through various channels, including radio broadcasts, educational materials, and community events, to foster a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

“What we actually witness in the communities is the frequent use of firewood and all the inconveniences that this brings. UNIDO’s biogas project communities will be able to migrate to the use of biodigesters capable of producing enough gas”, Carlos Lucas, UEM

Market Development

UNIDO supports the development of sustainable biogas value chains by strengthening market linkages, promoting entrepreneurship, and facilitating access to finance. This includes establishing partnerships with local businesses, financial institutions, and technology suppliers to create opportunities for investment and market expansion. UNIDO in partnership with BCI Bank, and the Energy Fund (FUNAE) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched a credit line allowing small and medium-sized enterprises to access funds for the implementation of renewable energy projects including biogas for productive uses.

Impact and Challenges

UNIDO's initiatives have yielded tangible results in promoting biogas adoption and contributing to sustainable development outcomes in Mozambique. By harnessing local resources and fostering partnerships, UNIDO has helped to improve energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create employment opportunities, and enhance the resilience of rural communities.

However, several challenges remain in scaling up biogas deployment in Mozambique, including limited awareness and technical expertise, inadequate infrastructure, financing constraints, and policy barriers. Addressing these challenges will require continued collaboration and commitment from stakeholders across government, civil society, academia, and the private sector.


UNIDO's efforts in promoting biogas technology in Mozambique exemplify its commitment to advancing sustainable industrial development and addressing the interlinked challenges of energy poverty, environmental degradation, and economic inequality. By leveraging its expertise, resources, and global network, UNIDO plays a crucial role in catalyzing positive change and unlocking the transformative potential of renewable energy for the benefit of present and future generations in Mozambique and beyond.

Marllene MAZARS

The TSE4ALLM project articles helped me a lot when I was writing my thesis on “Opportunities and challenges for energy transition for developing countries: A case of Mozambique” I am now part of MAZARS, a company which provides sustainability services at the international level. This company was not yet covering Mozambique until when our team designed a project for Mozambique, and the articles published on the TSE4ALLM website were very instrumental in obtaining data on sustainable energy. Besides, we launched the sustainability services line and a manual on sustainable services with reference to some of the experiences published by the TSE4ALLM project.------Marllene Sergio, MAZARS International

IMG 7162

Our mandate is to provide support to rural communities and in the area of renewable energy we focus on promoting access to affordable energy by communities without necessarily depending on the public grid. In this ambit we designed an initiative in coordination with Quinta Irini through UNIDO/GEF support where we are demonstrating some renewable energy technologies including a solar fruit & vegetables dryer, grinder, and a biodigester where organic materials from the farm are used to produce biogas

 Our objective from the collaboration with UNIDO is to use the results from Quinta Irini and replicate the experiences to other communities and demonstrate that natural resources like animal and agricultural waste available in the community can be leveraged to generate energy thus supporting families in rural communities

 The use of biogas technology is still a new thing in Mozambique and many communities have not yet tapped into the important resource due to limited awareness. The collaboration with UNIDO also serves the purpose of disseminating knowledge about renewable systems

Mr. Tiago Luis, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and memeber of the TSE4ALLM project Technical Evaluation Committee

Agro-processing is a pertinent component of the Quinta Irini initiative which deals with the production and processing of a variety of value chains including teas, fruits, vegetables, and flours”---Marisa Esculudes, Owner Quinta Irini

Chiburre ADPP

ADPP partnered with UNIDO in the promotion of Renewable Energy systems mainly photovoltaic irrigation systems in Tete, Zambezia, and Sofala. These systems targeted rural communities engaged in horticulture, who in the past used traditional methods of irrigation. The adoption of photovoltaic systems improved the smallholder farmers’ productivity as they were able to irrigate larger areas of their cultivated land. Some coordinators and smallholder farmers who used to depend on diesel for fueling their pumps turned to the use of solar powered pumps thus cutting down expenditure costs for purchasing diesel and repairs.

We continue working with UNIDO under the TSE4ALLM where ADPP makes part of the Technical Evaluation Committee alongside other partners like FUNAE, BCI, MIREME, MADER, and UEM.  The role of the TEC is to analyze proposals for the BCI SUPER credit line to finance renewable energy projects for productive activities like water supply, irrigation systems, and agri-businesses in rural Mozambique

”It is interesting to see that some of the projects that were evaluated were able to receive funding and we got the opportunity to visit them and access their progress since inception. AFORAMO, the private water suppliers’ association is one of the project’s success stories where we see the integral use of solar systems for the supply of water. They have registered 60% reduction of costs on electricity after adopting photovoltaic systems”------ Mr. José Chiburre, ADPP and member of the TSE4ALLM project steering committee


The Ministry of Energy elaborates policies about energy including renewable energy iike biogas and photovoltaic systems with the focus of the development of communities. As far as energy is concerned, we prioritize bioenergy together with partners like UNIDO to develop projects that enable communities access energy for productive uses especially to those hard-to-reach places by the national electricity grid. We work with UNIDO to support the implementation of government policies and efforts towards making energy accessible for productive uses in rural Mozambique. The work UNIDO does in the promotion of access to renewable energy in rural areas is very commendable.-----Mr. Issufu Juma, Ministry of Energy and member of the TSE4ALLM project Technical Evaluation Committee




Our communities need energy but unfortunately the national grid is too expensive and insufficient. We need renewable energy because it is sustainable and affordable- Mr. Dario Machava, Zavala Local Government Administrator

Cassava is considered among the principle staple foods and plays a vital food security role in Mozambique as in the rest of Africa. Mozambique is the 11th largest cassava producer in Africa with over 100 varieties cultivated in the different parts of the country.

The Josina Machel cooperative in Inharrime district, Inhambane province established in 1991 is the largest cassava processing plant in Mozambique. Currently the cooperative uses non-mechanized traditional methods of processing to produce “Rale”, a final flour product after grating, dewatering, roasting, and drying the cassava. The cassava processing is labor intensive and involves the use of huge amounts of firewood which is detrimental to the environment. Besides, women are more involved in not only labor-intensive activities like peeling, drying, roasting, and ferrying of firewood but also in activities that present grave health risks like roasting and drying using firewood all day long. The women are exposed to wood smoke, a main contributor to fine particle pollution (PM) and is responsible for poor air quality.

Low levels of productivity is mentioned as one of the major barriers to the development of the cassava processing industry. This is coupled with poor energy access which negatively affects the supply side of the cassava value chain. With UNIDO’s support the cooperative will adopt biogas to improve access to energy and address the cassava processing needs of the cooperative and reduce the impact of firewood consumption on the environment

“There is need for increased production so that communities can sustain themselves and in order to increase production, there is need for sustainable energy”---Jaime Comiche, UNIDO Representative in Mozambique

UNIDO in partnership with CHARIS-Associacao de Solidariedade Social, embarked on the process of the installation of simple, low-cost biogas plants for home and small business use in the coconut small businesses in the coconut, cashew nut and cassava cashew and cassava industries in the province of Inhambane, Mozambique. The Josina Machel Cassava Processing Cooperative in Inharrime District is a beneficiary of the UNIDO/GEF aimed at producing 35,000 m3 (around 96 m3/day) of biogas for use in cooking (domestic, small, medium and large industries), refrigeration and lighting)




A biogas system, with a capacity of 15m3 of biogas production, will be installed at the Josina Machel Cooperative's Cassava Processing Unit to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency in the Cooperative's production activities. At the Processing Unit, the biogas will be transformed into electricity to power cassava toasters during the refining process.