The Asian Development Bank on Monday pledged to help Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam scale up the use of agricultural bio-waste to meet their growing need for food and clean energy.
The bank's Board of Directors approved a technical assistance project that will be funded by a US$4 million grant from the Nordic Development Fund along with counterpart financing of $600,000 from the governments of the countries, according to a statement issued by the Manila-based bank.
Officials from the ADB said they will administer the grant and carry out the project in the three countries, where bio-waste such as rice husks and animal manure is abundant but is not efficiently used as renewable resource.
"Promoting more efficient use of biomass can simultaneously address the goals of fighting climate change and improving the well-being of the rural poor, which are often seen as competing priorities," said Sununtar Setboonsarng, Principal Natural Resources and Agriculture Economist, in ADB's Southeast Asia Department.
The project will fund pilot investment projects to scale up biomass technologies such as household biogas systems, biochar kilns and improved cooking stoves. The project is due to begin in July 2011 and will be completed by December 2014.