Generation of biogas for dairy farmers

Photo credit: ILRI

A biogas stove in Tanzania (photo credit: Flickr/Duffy Tilleman).

Biogas changes lives of dairy farmers in southern Tanzania


By Mercy Becon

Many people in Tanzania rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking and lighting. But these traditional methods not only destroy the environment on which millions depend, but also are inefficient and have serious repercussions for people’s health, safety and economic circumstance.

An effort by the Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF) is promoting the biological diversity, ecological functions and sustainable use of natural resources in eastern Tanzania by running a dairy cattle rearing project in the Iringa region. Among the aims of the project is generation of biogas.

According to an article published in, ‘there are more than 30,000 dairy cattle in Iringa,’ and the region is a leading producer of biogas in the country. ‘The Iringa project is helping to address poverty and scale down dependency of forest products in two villages of Idegenda and Mbawe.’

Farmers, especially women, are also benefiting from rearing dairy cattle. ‘From dairy cattle I get milk, money, manure and more importantly I enjoy using biogas for cooking and lighting during nights,’ said a woman farmer.

Read the full article: ILRI

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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