Using biogas for improved livelihoods of family farmers

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Using biogas for improved livelihoods of family farmers

This project aims to develop and implement successful strategies for the re-introduction of biodigesters on Costa Rica’s small and medium-sized family farms.

The Benefits of Biogas

Biogas and biodigester technologies bear great potentials to improve the livelihoods of rural family farmers, especially if they also breed livestock. The dung of the animals together with farm biodegradables are a valuable resource to be turned into biogas, which can then be used for cooking and for productive use.

However, the number of active biodigesters has been decreasing recently due to insufficient maintenance and a lack of trust in the technology by farmers. In response to this issue, WISIONS and its regional partner Asobiogas are discussing and testing the best strategies for the re-establishment of biodigesters together with representatives of local farming communities.

Rebuilding Trust in the Technology

Family farmers make up the central pillar of Costa Rica's agricultural sector. Therefore, they also are the most important actors in order to re-establish the biodigester technology again. In a joint workshop, five key points have been identified as necessary for rebuilding family farmers’ trust in biodigester technology and for ensuring the adoption of sustainable energy solutions in this important agricultural sector.

Additionally, the adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach combining the successful use of biodigesters by family farmers with support from biogas researchers, local energy practitioners and other local actors will create a knowledge exchange platform. This will support the revitalisation of the use of biogas technology among other family farmers. The main goals are to develop and implement successful strategies for biogas application and to provide other family farmers with the opportunity of adopting the technology.

Establish Knowledge Exchange Platforms for Scaling-Up

WISIONS supports this core project as it accentuates the importance of local knowledge among family farmers for establishing the sustainable transition to renewable energy access. A series of exchanges between the different stakeholders – with a focus on family farmers – will be facilitated and the insights gained will lead to a best case example of how local knowledge can build up resilience and capacity for sustainable energy access in the Global South.