Biogas reaches Pemagatshel

Tshewang, a proud farmer who now uses biogas
Tshewang, a proud farmer who now uses biogas

27 May, Pemagatshel: ‘Biogas is going to bring significant changes in our day-to-day life’ says Tshewang from Bartseri village, who is the first proud farmer to use biogas in Pemagatshel Dzongkhag.

Tshewang is one among the five households of Bartseri Dairy Group, who have recently installed biogas with fund support from the Bhutan Biogas Project (BBP) and Climate Change Adaptation Program. Like many others in the Dzongkhag, Tshewang has been depending on firewood, a most difficult task and time consuming while few depend on LPG gas for cooking.

According to the Dzongkhag Livestock Officer (DLO), B. N. Sharma, people have been facing lot of difficulties fetching firewood from a long distance. Further, during emergency, getting a LPG gas from Kheri Gonpa which is 4 km away is another issue due to lack of proper transportation and high cost. Considering this, DLO added that the biogas was introduced in the Dzongkhag to replace firewood and reduce the import of LPG gas. The first of its kind of such an initiative is also expected to make people’s life much easier, reducing the burden of their daily activities as well as saving time and resources.

The biogas in Bartseri under Shumar geog was installed during a training period held from 18-29 April for 16 masons and 12 livestock staff, with resource persons from Nepal and BBP. The team, which was divided into five groups, constructed a 4 cubic metre plant for each household which will require at least 20-30 kgs of cow dung daily in order to cook a meal for three times. Bartseri has seventy-five households and each household has cattle ranging from three to eleven, good enough to provide dung for biogas production.

Tashi Dupjur explaining on biogas management
Tashi Dupjur explaining on biogas management

Besides being economical and less risky, Tashi Dupjur, a senior livestock health supervisor from the Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital said that biogas is helpful in reducing the environmental damages; safe for human health and its waste products is usable as a fertiliser. Further, once the plant is constructed, the core required materials for biogas production such as cow dung is easily available either at home or around. He added that due to all these beneficiary factors, many farmers in the Dzongkhag are showing keen interest for biogas, which according to record has a life span of 20-30 years.

With an increasing demand, the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector is all set to introduce biogas for interested farmers as well in other parts of the Dzongkhag starting with the next financial year. It aims to cover around 500 households in three years. According to Tashi Dupjur, the users have to bear the construction expenditure on their own which might cost from Nu. 30,000-Nu. 40,000 per plant based on the capacity.

Till date, biogas which was introduced in 2011 has covered 13 Dzongkhags including the six eastern Dzongkhags and Punakha, Wangdue, Sarpang, Samtse, Chukha, Tsirang and Dagana.

By Tshering Doma, ICS

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