|Livestock Research for Rural Development 9 (2) 1997||
Citation of this paper
F A Moog, H F Avilla, E V Agpaoa, F G Valenzuela and F C Concepcion
Research Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, Manila, Philippines
With the present energy and pollution problem in the Philippines, conversion of livestock wastes as source of energy and fertilizer, offers a great advantage for the livestock industry. A program that suits the need of backyard livestock raisers to abate the worsening problem of environmental pollution is now given high priority by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) with the promotion of BAI Tubular Polyethylene Digester (BAI-TPED). A total of 99 biodigesters was installed nationwide of which eight (8) units are utilized for demonstration purposes in government stations or pilot barangays.
The technology is being promoted and proven with high degree of acceptance among farmers. Conduct of seminars along with field trips and study tours contributed much to make the technology popular and disseminated to the farmer clients. Several benefits can be obtained from TPED, in terms of source of renewable energy or fuel for farm household, fertilizer, sanitation and the cheapest means of minimizing pollution brought about by livestock wastes.
The Philippines has 8.23 million pigs and 63.27 million chickens (BAS 1993) and it is estimated that the amount of manure produced is 28,960 tonnes per day or 10.1 million tonnes per year. Bulk of the pig population comes from the smallholder farm which accounts for about 85% of the total hog inventory. It is common among small-scale farmers to integrate crops and livestock to increase their family income and backyard pig production is one of the sources of livelihood in the rural areas.
With the implementation of the government's Medium Term Livestock Development Program (MTLDP), more and more livestock will be raised especially in confinement. Proper waste disposal then becomes more pressing as an effect of the aggressive livestock development program. With the present energy and pollution problem in the country, conversion of livestock wastes as source of energy and fertilizer, offers a great advantage for the livestock industry. Majority of small farmers are dependent on inorganic fertilizer to increase crop yields. The use of commercial fertilizer means high inputs to production. In addition, small-scale farmers are constrained with financial availability wherein household income is divided proportionately for food, crop production, education of children and other expenses. Integrating biogas in the smallhold farming system will facilitate the use of the effluent to increase crop yield and help to minimize inputs, thus reducing cost for crop production and ultimately leading to a higher income.
With this trend, a massive program that suits the need of backyard livestock raisers to abate the worsening problem of environmental pollution is now given high priority by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) with the promotion of BAI Tubular Polyethylene Digester (BAI-TPED). The biodigester technology was based on the model developed in Colombia (Botero and Preston 1986) as modified by the experiences in Vietnam (Bui Xuan An et al 1995, 1997).
TPED demonstration units are being established in Government research/breeding stations and in different regions/provinces or municipalities nationwide.
Seminars, workshop and study tours were conducted for farmers, and the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Units (DA-RFUs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) staff. In all seminars, participants are brought to a functioning biodigester closest to the seminar venue.
Cooperators are selected with the assistance of the DA-LGUs staffin the respective areas. They are selected on the basis of number of pigs raised (minimum of 6-8 pigs) and availability of area where the digester could be set up.
Farmers are encouraged to use the effluent as fertilizer for rice and vegetables. Data on production are being generated and gathered for use by the project staff in the promotion of the technology.
The BAI with the assistance from FAO (GCP/RAS/143/JPN) implements and monitors the
project in coordination with DARFUs, LGUs and NGOs.
A total of 99 biodigesters wase installed nationwide of which eight (8) units are utilized for demonstration purposes in government stations or pilot barangays (Table 1).
The promotion of the technology through seminars and study tours has been very
effective as evidenced by various requests received by the BAI from different regions
under the Department of Agriculture (DA), Local Government Units (LGUs)and Non-Government
Offices (NGOs). One national workshop was conducted at BAI Central Office in Diliman,
Two consultation workshops on the Promotion and Adoption of Selected Technologies with
LGUs were held in Davao City and Quezon province. In Davao Cityt the workshop was
organized by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 11. Staff of Local
Government Units (Provincial and City Veterinarians from 5 provinces of Southern Mindanao
and Davao City), together with representatives of farmers' cooperatives and organizations,
participated .in the workshop.
A total of 17 seminars was held, involving 651 participants consisting of farmers, Department of Agriculture and Local Government Unit technicians, Veterinarians and Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAOs) (Table 2). In addition, demonstration units of TPED were highlighted in the Agri-aqua fair held in Albay and Isabela. A model unit of TPED was set in both fairs and drew thousands of visitors. Handouts were distributed to seminar participants, and visitors during the exhibits. After each seminar, participants were invited to see a functioning biogas plant in the village or demonstration site. A total of 19 study tours/field days was conducted, involving many participants (Table 3).
Farmers were encouraged to use the biogas effluent and sludge as fertilizer to various
crops. In Tarlac, effluent is being collected and used as fertilizer to rice and
vegetables. In Padre Garcia, Batangas, plants fertilized with 100 percent N from inorganic
fertilizer (farmers' practice) and rice plants fertilized with 50 percent N from effluent
were compared (Table 4).
Feedback and Benefits
The socio-economic aspect of using TPED in Philippine small farms was assessed in
interviews with questionaires involving 30 farmers in the project (Table 5). The majority
of the farmers interviewed are above 50 years old and the nembers in the family are 5. The
main source of income is agricultural production including livestock. The average number
of pigs owned by farmers.is sixteen.
By using the biodigester, a family saves Pesos 160.00 (Pesos 25=USD 1.00) per month on
fuel. The expenses for the biogas plant were paid back within 11 months. They added that
if they owned a minimum of 6 pigs, the gas produced will be sufficient to supply the daily
requirement for cooking for a family of 6 members (Table 6). .
During field visits and monitoring, damages to digesters were observed. The damages were caused mainly by animals (Table 7).
Emphasis on how to take care and manage the digester is stressed to farmers to prevent damage to succeeding units. This has been.attribtuted to poor handling during transport to the field. Insufficiency of manure was also reported and it was found out that the owner sold the animals but did not replace the stocks sold to sustain gas production.
The Tubular Polyethylene Digester or the Low-Cost Biogas technology is simple, adoptable, economically viable, and thus suited to the smallholder livestock raisers.
The technology is being promoted and proven with high degree of acceptance among farmers. Conduct of seminars along with field trips and study tours contributed much to make the technology popular and disseminated to the farmers.
The promotional campaign being undertaken by the project staff does not only create environmental protection awareness among the citizens, but more importantly among the policy makers, people in the senate and LGU officials. It is now these officials who are taking initiatives in the promotion of the technology.
Several benefits can be obtained from TPED, in terms of source of renewable energy or
fuel for farm household, fertilizer, sanitation and the cheapest means of minimizing
pollution brought about by livestock wastes.
We are grateful to the Regional FAO-executed project GCP/RAS/143/JPN for financing the
first pilot demonstrations of the Tubular Polyethylene Digester technology.
Botero R and Preston T R 1986 Low-cost biodigester for production of fuel and fertilizer from manure (spanish). Manuscrito ineditado CIPAV, Cali, Colombia, pp1-20.
Bui Xuan An Ngo Van Man, Duong Nguyen Khang, Nguyen Duc Anh and Preston T R 1995 Installation and performance of low-cost polyethylene tube biodigesters on small scale farms in Vietnam. Proceedings National Seminar-workshop in Sstainable Livestock Production on Local Feed Resources. Agric. Pub. House: Ho Chi Minh, pp.95-103.
Bui Xuan An, Preston T R and Dolberg F 1997 The introduction of low-cost polyethylene tube biodigesters on small scale farms in Vietnam; Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 9, Number 2: 27-35
Received 1 May 1997
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