Kenaf and AgroResidues can reduce deforestation

Carol Cross solync at
Wed Apr 3 12:03:28 EST 1996

Kenaf and AgroResidues can reduce deforestation
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ARTICLES based on a request for information on KENAF.

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Kenaf (Hibiscus Cannabinus) is a tropical plant related to cotton and okra.  The USDA has been investigating kenaf for years for use in the production of nonwood paper.  It is already grown in many tropical countries for use in making rope.  In fact, about 1,500,000 hectares are grown in small backyard plots for fiber.  Now, however, research by USDA reveals kenaf has a high (up to 35%) protein content, with amino acid content equivalent to alfalfa.  Since alfalfa does not grow in the tropics, it will be a good crop for producing feed for livestock in tropical countries.  To get this protein content, the growth must be cut BEFORE it is 80 days old.  After 80 days, the fibers build up in the stem, the leaf to stem ratio changes and the protein level drops.

In addition to being the ideal species for tropical livestock feed, kenaf can be grown for livestock feed in the Northern USA, in Canada,  in Europe, in the Southern Cone countries, in New Zealand, indeed anywhere where there is a 60 day growing season.

Information, ideas and methods of EcoAgroForestry will be shared in workshops and seminars on industries based on KENAF mixed with AGRORESIDUES like wheat straw, rice straw, sugar cane bagasse, etc. at the EcoAgroForestry Century conference in Arkansas on September 18-21, 1996 sponsored by the EcoAgroForestry Trade and Development Center (EAFTDC).
There is a Call For Papers on any aspect of sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry,  sustainable development, use of AgroResidues, NONWOOD paper, rural industrial development, rural development, technologies for developing rural industries, kenaf growing and utilization, and the development of EcoAgroForestry projects in Caribbean Basin and Andean Group countries.

Most of the rainforests are cut to create low grade, short term pastures (mainly for hamburgers sold in the USA).  The Sustainable People Centered Development, Inc. nonprofit organization is planning the Tropical Kenaf Cut and Carry System.  This is designed to produce livestock feed for feeding livestock in Latin American countries in order to stop rainforest destruction.

Kenaf can be fed alone as a high quality livestock feed.  However, the protein content is so high, it is better mixed with AgroResidues to produce a more balanced feed.  Kenaf and AgroResidues can also be combined to make many industrial products.

EAFTDC is promoting the concept of Rural AgroIndustrial Centers (RAICs), each containing several modules to produce selected products such as livestock feed, poultry litter, fuel briquettes, building materials such as particleboard, heatboard, nonwood paper, electricity generation, oil absorbents, nonwoven fibers, woven fibers for cloth, organic fertilizer and soil amendment.

The KENAF GROWERS NETWORK is a membership organization which has published the first issue of a newsletter called the KENAF GROWERS NOTEBOOK.  Send email message with mailing address for a free copy to come by regular mail to Dr. Carol Cross, Director, EAFTDC.

For information on any of the above items, send email to Dr. Cross at solync at

2.  The EcoAgroForestry Century Conference will convene its information sharing meeting, trade show and  exposition the week of September 18, 19, 20 and 21, 1996 in Dermott, Arkansas in the heart of Arkansas's agricultural and forest production region according to Dr. Carol Cross, Director of the Society of Lyons, Inc., and Coordinator of the  EcoAgroForestry Trade and Development Center (EAFTDC), cosponsors of the meeting.

"It's designed to bring together university experts, consultants in sustainable development,  sustainable forestry and rural agroindustrial development. A vital role will be played by entrepreneurs from the Caribbean Basin and Andean Pact countries, US farmers and agribusiness and small and medium scale agricultural and agroindustrial equipment suppliers from the US, Asia and Europe.  It will focus on ways to create sustainable agricultural and forestry projects and at the same time, as relationships between participants are formed, lead to joint ventures and strategic alliances as well as trading relationships," noted Dr. Cross.

The purpose of the conference and exhibition is to bring together the people resources, the equipment, the products, the services and the technologies needed to meet the demand of creating and supporting the expanding eco-entrepreneurial culture in the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean through the use of appropriate EcoAgroForestry equipment consultancy and expertise from worldwide sources," she added.

"If you wish to present a paper on any of the subjects listed, please email for a  "Call  For Papers" to solync at   One of the key highlights of the conference will be a symposium on the production of Non-Wood Paper.  Equipment from the USA, Asia and Europe will be exhibited and a workshop will be put on by AgroResidue fed paper mill technical personnel.  As an example of Non-Wood paper production, over 1/3 of India's paper requirements are presently being met by paper made from AgroResidues such as sugar cane bagasse, wheat straw, rice straw, soybean waste, cotton stalks, etc. It is clearly a workable technology.

Because Asian and European countries have long track records making paper from AgroResidues, these international technologies are being sought for the development of a rural entrepreneurial culture based on available agricultural residues here in Arkansas.

It is very vital that we develop this industry in Arkansas as the burning of field residues is no longer acceptable environmentally.  Additionally, small scale pulp and paper mills based on Agro-residues would create jobs in rural areas of Arkansas," she continued

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