Abstract: Creating value out of liquid manure – a value chain approach in rural Lower Saxony
Kim Philip Schumacher, Vechta
The northwest of Lower Saxony is the center of livestock farming in Germany. This is connected to the growth of Germanys best developed agribusiness cluster. The subsidies for renewable energies added a very successful development of biogas production and related machine building and services to the regional economy. Both developments result in a very high production of liquid and solid manure and digestate. In several districts the amount of manure exceeds twice the available agrarian land for an ecologically justifiable deployment. This has led to the establishment of an intra-regional export system that transports the surplus manure for deployment to grain and sugar beet producing farms without or very limited live-stock keeping in eastern Lower Saxony and beyond into eastern Germany where it substitutes mineral fertilizer. The presentation discusses the turn of a neglected agricultural byproduct into a tradable and valued commodity and the development of the intra regional export value chain with its network of actors who organize and govern this emerging agricultural value chain in rural Lower Saxony.