News and knowhow for farmers

Two cows’ dung saves farmer thousands of shillings in cooking gas

With only to cows, a farmer who installed a biomass digester two years, is saving more than Sh30,000 yearly spent on buying cooking gas and ‘slaughtering’ trees for firewood.

By the time Daudi Orina installed a biogas digester in his Nyamira County farm a 13kg cooking gas had soured to Sh3,500. Use of firewood meant cutting more trees and despite the health risk the smoke was posing to this family he continued to use this energy more-so when the gas ran out and he never havd money at once.

Orina says the initial cost may have been high, but he does not regret making that decision of moving to the clean and cost-free energy.

“I spent Sh80,000 to install the biogas digester in early 2014. With such a one investment, I sealed the monthly hole where I was dumping money. With only two cows, which are also my source of revenue, I have never heard anyone saying we have no gas,” he says.

One 17-litre bucket cowdung generates cooking gas that supports three meals a day for his family, as well as other chores that require fire.

Waste into energy

The digester is no longer ‘fed’ on cowdung alone, but also adamant weeds, and other organic waste in the homestead and farm.

An example of perennial weed is the wandering Jew, which does not dry up even after exposure to water starvation.

“The biogas chamber mints out all the energy in organic wastes before vomiting them out as nutrient-rich manure for my vegetable orchard. Nothing is going to waste. Making more money starts by saving a little by a little,” he says.

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