Thimphu: The launching ceremony for the Bhutan Biogas Project (BBP) and a national workshop on biogas technology was held yesterday, at the Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) conference hall, Thimphu.
The program’s objective is to create awareness on biodigester technology and provide background for the promotion and facilitation of bio digester activities at the local level.
The program was held in presence of Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MoAF), Honourable Director General, Department of Livestock (DoL) and Prakash C Ghimire, Chief Technical Advisor, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV/BBP).
Lyonpo said. “I hope that we can achieve the goals and objectives of the project. We cannot depend only on hydropower. Any small household or farmer can afford biogas.”
“Environmentally, it is one of the most useful technologies and it is important to let people know the economic, ecological and social benefits of biogas,” he added.
BBP is a joint programme of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Renewable Energy Division (RED) of Department of Energy, DoL, SNV and Bhutan Development Bank (previously known as BDFCL).
The BPP will build capacity in the public and private sectors to construct and operate 1,600 biogas plants in four project area Dzongkhags namely, Tsirang, Sarpang, Samtse and Chukha from March 2011 to February 2014 on a pilot basis.
The project does face challenges: farmers knowledge about biogas technology and its benefits are limited; promotion and technology extension have not yet been widely practiced; difficult terrain, scattered households and weather conditions; the district livestock extension officer’s are new to the technology; there is no competent private sector to take a lead role on construction and appliance production, and the accessibility to other fuel sources may undermine the interest of farmers on biogas technology.
The benefits of biogas cover a range of sectors from energy, agriculture, health, sanitation, gender, environment and private sector strengthening.
It will also help reduce human and animal diseases by improving sanitary conditions, reduce green house gas emissions through improved manure management systems, reduce indoor air pollution, and reduce the workload in collecting firewood and organic fertilizer to increase agriculture yield.