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Biogas Backpack_B Energy

Biogas-filled backpacks delivering local energy to the rural poor

15 January 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - Check out this biogas-filled backpack that allows rural communities to use biogas locally. Katrin Puetz saw the potential of biogas for rural communities while doing her master's thesis at a university in Germany. She recently spent a year in Ethiopia piloting the system with a local organization. Puetz became convinced that a model of biogas clusters could be a viable business—and, importantly, without any outside help. Puetz advocates subsidy-free development, based around local people cooperating and sharing resources (she's turned down several opportunities from grant-making entities). Hers is a social business. She sees one person setting up a digester, having too much gas, and covering their costs by selling to others. read more
Ecuadorian potatoes and meat

Linking family nutrition in city and country

7 January 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - Ecuador is going through a substantial nutritional transition. This, coupled with the paradox that rural families that produce food are often those most affected by undernutrition, shows the ironies of ‘modern’ food systems. By linking rural and urban families, they can increase diversity in their diets in rural as well as in urban areas. This usually happens through direct interactions between farmers and urban dwellers or through recipes passed down via secondary means. Particularly important however are direct linkages between producers’ and consumers’ organisations that have learned to value diversity and long-established foods. read more
Training and spraying at ECOM's farmer development centre

‘Trade, not aid’

6 January 2015
ECOM Agroindustrial Corporation Ltd. is rapidly transforming the cocoa market. The global commodity trading and processing company is adopting a new and inclusive approach to business. Head of Africa - Cocoa Rahul Gopinath explains why: 'Sustainable change has to be based on economics.' read more
Gabriel Gonzalez

Meet the banker: Gabriel Gonzalez in Paraguay

23 December 2014
Upsides talks to bankers from around the world. Why did they start working in the financial sector? What does the financial landscape look like in their country? And how does this landscape influence their actions? read more