|Subtitle:||Promoting local consumption and small-scale production of biofuels in Honduras|
|Implementation:||Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Investigation (FHIA) and STRO Social Trade Organisation (The Netherlands)|
In 2005 Honduras spent some 860 million US$ or 49% of its export earnings on fuel imports. Since Honduras has no oil refinery facilities, fuel prices are even higher than in neighbouring countries. Rising fuel prices have led to social unrest, but have also created opportunities for the development of alternative, locally produced, cleaner fuels (such as biodiesel, pure plant oil and ethanol). So far only large enterprises have taken advantage of these new opportunities. Honduran government has supported these initiatives with a new "Law for the oxygenation of fuels". However, small-scale initiatives, benefiting the poorer parts of the (mainly rural) population are still virtually inexistent, mainly because of the unavailability of appropriate technologies.
Experience in many parts of the world shows that small-scale biofuel production is a viable option in many circumstances. The "Gota Verde" project aims to fill this gap by providing appropriate technologies and organisational structures that makes it possible that benefits offered by the biofuel sector reaches a large part of the poorer, mainly rural populations. A widespread use of small-scale biofuel may generate tens of thousands of new employments, in agriculture, processing and distribution, thus contributing to poverty alleviation on a broad scale while often improving the environment (reforestation). After the three year demonstration project presented in this proposal, a dissemination phase is foreseen (not included in this proposal), not only Honduras but also other Central American countries.