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Primary Production

: Lewandowski, I.; Lippe, M.; Montoya, J.C.; Dickhöfer, U.; Langenberger, G.; Pucher, J.; Schließmann, U.; Schmid-Staiger, U.; Derwenskus, F.; Lippert, C.

Fulltext ()

Lewandowski, I.:
Bioeconomy : Shaping the Transition to a Sustainable, Biobased Economy
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017
ISBN: 978-3-319-68152-8
ISBN: 978-3-319-68151-1
Book Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IGB ()

Agricultural Production: Agriculture is the cultivation of crops or the husbandry of livestock in pure or integrated crop/animal production systems for the main purpose of food production, but also for the provision of biomass for material and energetic use. Together with forestry, agricultural production represents the main activity of resource production and supply in the bioeconomy and the major activity delivering food as well as starch, sugar and vegetable oil resources. Today, 33% (about 4900 Mha) of the Earth’s land surface is used for agricultural production, providing a living for 2.5 billion people. Agriculture shapes cultural landscapes but, at the same time, is associated with degradation of land and water resources and deterioration of related ecosystem goods and services, is made responsible for biodiversity losses and accounts for 13.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2006). In the future bioeconomy, agriculture needs to be performed sustainably. ‘Sustainable intensification’ aims at shaping agricultural production in such a way that sufficient food and biomass can be produced for a growing population while, at the same time, maintaining ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Sustainable intensification can partly be achieved by the development and implementation of innovative production technologies, which allow a more efficient use of natural resources, including land and agricultural inputs. Its implementation requires a knowledge-based approach, in which farmers are made aware of the requirements of sustainable production and trained in the implementation of sustainable agricultural production systems. The planning of bio-based value chains and sustainable bioeconomic development demands an understanding of the mechanisms of biomass production and supply (as described in this chapter) for the entire global agricultural sector. Forestry: Forests cover about 30% of the Earth’s total land area, harbouring most of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and containing almost as much carbon as the atmosphere. They have many functions, providing livelihoods for more than a billion people, and are of high relevance for biodiversity conservation, soil and water protection, supply of wood for energy, construction and other applications, as well as other bio-based resources and materials such as food and feed. The forestry sector was the first to adopt a sustainability concept (cf. Carlowitz), and sustainable use and management of forestry remains an important issue to this day. Forestry is a multifunctional bioeconomic system and has an important function in securing the sustainable resource base for the present and future bioeconomy. Aquatic Animal Production: Aquatic animals are fundamental to a well-balanced, healthy human diet due to their profile and content of essential amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Since the 1990s, the growing demand for aquatic food cannot be satisfied by capture fisheries alone and has therefore caused a steady increase in aquaculture production of on average 8.8% annually. Today aquaculture is the fastest-growing agricultural sector globally, especially in Asia. There are 18.7 million fish farmers globally, and annual aquaculture production is worth around 150 billion euros. It is expected that aquaculture will increasingly contribute to protein supply and healthy nutrition of the growing world population. Fish production can be performed at different intensity levels, from production systems based on natural feed resources to closed systems in ponds or tanks which fully rely on external feed. New integrated aquaculture systems are increasingly being developed and applied, which follow a more direct implementation of a circular bioeconomy and focus on a more efficient use of nutrients and water. The best choice of production method largely depends on local conditions.
Microalgae: Microalgae are one of the most important global biomass producers and can be used commercially to produce specific food, feed and biochemical compounds. The cultivation process differs completely from that of land-based plants because they are grown under more or less controlled conditions in different types of bioreactor systems in salt, brackish or fresh water. Special processing requirements apply to the extraction of valuable compounds from algae biomass and further use of the residual biomass, especially in cascade utilization. In general, the chemical characteristics and market specifications, for example the required degree of product purity, determine the downstream processing technique. Additional requirements are the avoidance of an energy-intensive drying step wherever possible and the ensuring of gentle extraction processes that both maintain the functionality of biochemical compounds and permit the extraction of further cell components. The vast number of microalgae strains differ fundamentally in cell size, cell wall formation and biomass composition. By applying successive extraction procedures, both the principal fractions (e.g. proteins, polar membrane lipids with omega-3 fatty acids, non-polar triacylglycerides) as well as high-value components such as carotenoids can be obtained sequentially from the microalgae biomass. Economics of Primary Production: When developing new bio-based products and assessing their market opportunities, the correct calculation of all expected unit costs is indispensable. The provision of natural resources from primary agricultural or forest production is an important cost component in this calculation. All renewable natural resources require a certain time to grow. For this reason, in order to correctly account for all external and internal net benefits of natural resources, it is important to calculate the related capital costs and model the biological growth over time. For permanent crops and woodland resources, it is particularly important to derive optimized single and infinite rotations for different kinds of plantations. For this purpose, the corresponding biological growth expectations need to be combined with an investment appraisal. This chapter introduces basic concepts dealing with interest calculation based on the existence of (economic) capital growth and biological growth.