Biogas Technology: Changing the Profile of Rural Vietnam

Since 2011, the Micro-finance and Community Development Institute has been working closely with local authorities from multiple districts throughout the provinces Hà Giang, Hoà Bình, and Sơn La on the installation of biogas systems rural areas, along with the implementation of extensive training programs on the usage of biogas technology in farming. The initiative is part of a greater effort to secure access to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to commercial fuels to meet demands in the household and in agricultural production. The program witnessed significant shifts in farming practices as households adopt more sustainable techniques in agricultural production that optimize the treatment of organic waste to increase crop yield and ease the burden of household tasks.

In order to be installed in the project districts, biogas systems must meet economic, technological, and environmental criteria that outlined, among many requirements, that the models demonstrated originality,  ensured low input cost and scalability, and maximized waste treatment. Among the models presented, those that demonstrated energy efficiency and were field-tested were prioritized. 

Qualified biogas domes awaiting installation in Hà Giang Province

Hence, the project teams were able to select leading models in biogas systems for installation and conduct biennial quality evaluations. Additionally, households receive training on the collection of organic waste and the usage of biogas for cooking as well as bio-slurry for fertilizer. Extensive training courses were held in community buildings throughout the districts where the project was implemented. The programs welcomed the presence of household providers as well as local officials in the audience, while professionals guided training sessions on how to best utilize biogas technology. The number of courses increased exponentially throughout each evaluation period to match the growing participation rate.

Hà Giang Province training module on the effective implementation of biogas technology. Community members crowd meeting rooms to await instructions on new, life-changing systems.

Over the 5 evaluation periods since 2011, the results of the project was a reported plunge in meal preparation time, along with a steady 40% drop in energy cost as biogas stoves begin to replace conventional wood stoves and other traditional cooking methods. Bioenergy was used to power other machinery, such as household mills, to aid in production. Additionally, crop yield went up, followed by a decrease of roughly 25% in working days as households began incorporating bio-slurry discharge as fertilizer. In terms of participation, for every two years of the project, an additional 600 households reported new installations of biogas technology, with the latest reported number reaching 450 households for the on-going 2019-2020 evaluation period. In total, the project provided almost 3,000 households with access to biogas technology, thus bringing about a welcoming change for agricultural production and livelihood in rural Việt Nam.

Ms. La Thị Xuân from Quyết Tiến District, Hà Giang Province, in her family’s traditional kitchen area where biogas technology has eased the burden of meal preparation for her family 
Mr. Lù Xuân Đông, photographed among his lush vegetable garden – an abundant harvest thanks to the incorporation of bio-slurry fertilizer.
Ms. Vùi Thị Lái took great joy in her family’s bioenergy-powered mill. She is deeply impressed with the incredible reach of bioenergy.

MACDI rejoices at the achievements of the project and takes to heart the abundance of knowledge that these results had informed us. The institute hopes to continue scaling biogas models in rural Việt Nam and accomplish other significant feats in improving rural agricultural production on a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious track.

Micro-finance & Community Development Institute (MACDI)
Address: No. 15, 324/22 Alley, Thuy Khue, Tay Ho, Hanoi
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