We are pleased to bring you the news that farmers in Central Java have started to produce biogas processed from animal dung to meet their electricity needs. The Group Association of Farmers Qaryah Thayyibah (SPPQT) in Salatiga, one of the regencies in the province, has claimed success in the program. We thought it would interest our readers, and these digesters are waste driven so there are no food crop depletion issues. If you find the excerpt from the original article that we have provided below to be interesting, please also visit the original site by following the link provided:
The association announced at a recent ceremony that it had created 300 units of biogas digesters in 20 subdistricts across the province.
The ceremony on Tuesday was witnessed by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan.
SPPQT chairman Khidziq Faisol said that the association initiated the biogas program upon its establishment in 1999 in Salatiga, inspired by the abundant waste products from cow farming.
“This program has helped empower the community to meet their own daily energy needs,” Khidziq said.
He said farmers owning more than two cows could utilize their animals’ dung to produce enough energy for both cooking and lighting.
“A farmer with at least three cows can produce a cubic meter of biogas,” said Khidziq, adding that the amount could produce energy for cooking and lighting in one household for a whole day.
SPPQT has 16,348 member farmers, comprising 660 farmer groups in Batang, Boyolali, Demak, Kendal, Magelang, Purwodadi, Salatiga, Semarang, Sragen, Temanggung and Wonosobo.
Apart from biogas, the association has also succeeded in establishing a micro-hydropower plant with a 170,000-Watt capacity, built for subdistricts located along riverbanks. The association earns some Rp 50 million (US$5,400) per month from the sale of the electricity the plant produces.
“The riverbank communities receive 30 percent of the income and the remaining 70 percent goes to the association to fund its activities,” Khidziq said.
One of the association’s supervisors, Tri Mumpuni, said the entire community was required to participate for the success of the two empowerment programs, including environmental preservation.
“In order to create a permanent income for the subdistricts, we are currently negotiating with PLN [state-owned electricity company] to buy our electricity,” Tri said.
Dahlan applauded the empowerment program, saying civil society movements should start within subdistricts where people could be empowered through a variety of activities.
With the biogas they produced, people no longer needed to purchase kerosene to fulfill their needs for cooking fuel, Dahlan said.
The program, he added, was also in line with his ministry’s target of reducing imports of cattle, by purchasing 100,000 cows to be bred at the ministry’s plantations across the country.
“There is a possibility that we will collaborate with the SPPQT to the rearing of cattle and we will buy the calves bred through the program,” Dahlan said.