Global Policy Forum

UNIDO and QUINVITA Join Forces on Novel Bio-Energy Development

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and global crop technology firm QUINVITA have signed an agreement to develop new industrial bio-energy crops that will be planted in developing countries. UNIDO says energy crops will be key to sustainable development. However, scientists dispute the “benefits” of bio-energy and argue that the diversion of food crops into biofuel production results in high food prices. This agreement is part of a growing trend of public-private partnerships at the UN.


November 3, 2011

QUINVITA, a global industrial crop technology company that focuses on  deploying new technologies in alternative energy crops like Jatropha curcas, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will bolster their joint commitment to the support of sustainable development of bio-energy crops in tropical regions.

A new cooperation agreement on this was signed today by UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and the Chief Executive Officer of QUINVITA, Henk Joos.

QUINVITA is one of the global market leaders in the science and development of Jatropha curcas as a sustainable bio-energy crop. Over the years it has developed a unique knowledge base in Jatropha genetics, agronomy and processing and is one of the few companies in the world with a combination of seeds, technology and knowledge that is readily available for practical implementation in Jatropha plantations. In addition QUINVITA is developing a broader knowledge base on other novel industrial crops and on traditional agricultural crops based on the collective experience of the QUINVITA management.

UNIDO’s Agribusiness Development Branch spearheads the Organization’s initiatives towards the Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty and hunger through programmes and initiatives that help create jobs and incomes in rural areas. The Branch manages a portfolio of over USD 100 million of projects in around 50 mostly low-income countries.

Since 2010, there is a particular focus on Africa with the flagship African Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development Initiative, or 3ADI, jointly executed by UNIDO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with regional technical and financial capacities.

“On the side of UNIDO, we see the potential of energy crops in developing countries.  They can be key for producing green, renewable energy and for poverty reduction through the diversification of income for smallholder farmers. We will strive to combine the scientific, technical and financial resources of QUINVITA and UNIDO to cooperate on the development of novel bio-energy crops,” said Philippe Scholtès, Director of UNIDO’s Agribusiness Development Branch.

“QUINVITA is very honoured and excited about the opportunity to become one of the knowledge partners of UNIDO in the development of novel bio-energy crops. QUINVITA strongly supports small and more intensified sustainable farming operations that integrate the production of food, fiber, feed and fuels. We see this as a key mechanism for the developing world to create economic growth and hence reduced poverty and a balanced offering of products strongly needed for these societies. Together with UNIDO, QUINVITA wants to contribute to a World in Balance,” said Henk Joos, Chief Executive Officer of QUINVITA.

The first example of cooperation is the project Strategic analysis of the potential of novel bio-energy crops in ECOWAS countries, jointly implemented by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), QUINVITA and UNIDO.


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