At least 30,000 dairy and pig farmers in Embu County are set to benefit from affordable home biogas systems from a foreign investor in a move to reduce deforestation in the county.
This is after the investor who has been operating in four counties; Kiambu, Meru, Nyeri and Murang’a extended his operation to Embu County.
“If 1,000 families are moving to home biogas and stop using charcoal and firewood as a source of cooking it will save 14,000 trees every year,” said Mully Lahav Senior Vice President (SVP) New Markets Home Biogas Global.
During the launch of the Embu hub, the Senior Vice President said that for a farmer to have the biogas system installed in their homes, it will require them to have at least 2-10 cows or pigs.
He said that the biogas system is best designed for small scale farmers and that it can treat up to 2-3 buckets of cow dung per day.
Mully added that the biogas system produces two products; methine gas which is used for cooking at least five hours a day and 100 biogas slurry litres liquid substance per day which is rich in nutrients that farmers can apply on their crops, cow fodders and farms to improve harvest and soil fertility.
Over the last two and half years, the renewable energy company that the investor from Israel leads has so far managed to install 1,500 biogas systems in four counties; Kiambu, Meru, Nyeri and Murang’a and plans to extend to other counties across Kenya.
The Senior Vice President said that before the launch of Embu biogas, it had already registered 100 biogas systems in the county.
He added that the renewable energy company whose directors come from Israel will introduce and leverage the agriculture knowledge which comes from Israel to improve farming agriculture in Kenya.
Embu County Chief Officer for Livestock and Blue Economy Hellen Wanja expressed confidence that welcoming the use of biogas,will be a huge boost to help the county to conserve trees and forest cover.
She said Embu County will support the Israel investor by increasing the livestock production in the lower side of Mbeere and the upper side of Embu.
New Markets Home Biogas Global head of Commerce Daniel Mungai said that they are targeting more than 80 per cent of farmers in the county who are using firewood to change to biogas and ensure clean cooking.
George Kivuti a resident of Kirigi Ngandori ward Embu and one of the beneficiaries of the biogas system said that home biogas has helped him save a lot because it is cost effective compared to cooking with firewood.
He added that he diverted the money he has been using to buy firewood to buying the biogas system and that he does not regret having shifted to using renewable energy.
“Using firewood has a lot of smoke but this biogas system has no smoke,” said Kivuti.
He further said that he has been using the biogas slurry produced by the biogas system on his coffee and maize farm leading to increased soil fertility and bumper harvest.
Farmers are required to pay Sh 86,000 as a whole to the renewable energy company to have the biogas installed in their homes or pay it in installments.
By Justus Anzaya