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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Operations and improvement needs in the informal charcoal sector – A participatory value stream analysis

Roos, Anders; Mutta, Doris; Larwanou, M.; Wekesa, C.; Kowero, G.

Abstract

Developing profitable and sustainable charcoal supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa requires good knowledge about their properties, input needs and impacts. Charcoal supply chains in Taita Taveta and Kwale counties, Kenya, were analysed to identify operational and sustainability improvement opportunities. Using operations man agement, lean engineering and participatory research, charcoal value streams' processes, resources, and outcomes were analysed. Charcoal production and trade have low entry barriers, slow-paced innovation, and thin profit margins for value chain actors. Production is labour intensive, and the actors need specific skills, knowhow, and resources for proper business performance. The value chain's profitability and sustainability can be improved by regenerating exploited quality tree species, improving operation efficiency and safety, promoting market development, and appropriate policies on charcoal production and trade. The study's findings can guide the development of enabling policies and regulatory frameworks for the charcoal industry and improve the actors' performance in the charcoal value chain.

Keywords

bioenergy; energy policy; lean; supply chain management; sustainable livelihoods framework

Published in

International Forestry Review
2021, Volume: 23, number: 3, pages: 351-364

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
    SDG1 No poverty
    SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Business Administration
    Other Civil Engineering

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1505/146554821833992802

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/113903