1. Why is biogas an important technology for small farmers?

Biogas technology is emerging as a critical invention in the field of sustainable agriculture, especially for small farmers who face particular obstacles. For small farms, biogas technology is a game-changing and crucial tool. In addition to being a sustainable source of energy, it also helps with waste management, supports environmental sustainability, and boosts economic viability. Embracing biogas technology enables small farmers as they negotiate the challenges of agriculture and is essential to promoting resilient and sustainable farming methods that benefit the community as a whole.

  1. What, in your opinion, are the benefits of biogas for small farmers

The utilization of biogas technology presents numerous benefits for small-scale farmers. These benefits include the provision of an environmentally friendly energy source for heating, cooking, and lighting; effective handling of organic waste; improved soil fertility via nutrient-rich digestate; cost savings; diversification of revenue streams; mitigation of climate change through methane emission capture; promotion of energy independence; reduction of environmental impact; enhancement of health and hygiene; economic empowerment of farmers; community development; and encouragement of the adoption of innovative agricultural technologies.

  1. What are the risks of using biogas?

Although with all of its advantages, biogas technology has certain possible drawbacks that should be carefully considered. The main ingredient in biogas, methane, is flammable, which raises safety concerns. Proper maintenance and storage are therefore essential to avert dangerous circumstances. Furthermore, hydrogen sulfide produced by the anaerobic digestion process might be harmful to people operating the system if certain safety precautions are not taken. For small farmers in particular, the requirement for technical competence poses hurdles, and the upfront costs associated with system setup may act as a disincentive. The environmentally favorable goals of the technology may be undermined if environmental effects, including methane leaks, are not adequately controlled. Complications are increased by public opinion, feedstock competition, and regulatory compliance. Despite these dangers, harnessing the full potential of biogas while guaranteeing a secure and sustainable energy future requires addressing them through safety procedures, community involvement, and regulatory frameworks.

  1. Why did you pick this technology to research?

There are several strong arguments for the need for research on anaerobic biogas technology. First of all, it presents a chance to progress sustainable energy solutions by utilizing renewable resources to produce biogas. Gaining knowledge about the complexities of anaerobic digestion enables researchers to solve problems, investigate novel approaches, and maximize efficiency, all of which enhance the overall efficacy of the system. Additionally, choosing this technology created an optimal waste management procedures that minimized environmental impact while transforming organic materials into useful resources. Choosing this technology is essential to encouraging its uptake in decentralized systems that can help small farmers and rural communities, as well as in large-scale applications.

  1. How do you think your research on biogas can contribute to the future of small farming in Africa?

Biogas research has the potential to significantly transform small-scale farming in Africa by solving important issues and promoting sustainable farming methods. By converting organic waste into a renewable energy source, biogas technology helps small farmers mitigate the effects of unstable electricity networks by providing a decentralized and dependable energy supply. This study will tailor biogas systems to the unique requirements of African farming environments, accounting for differences in the supply of feedstock, regional climates, and customary farming methods. Additionally, the digestate which is rich in nutrients that was created as a by-product can improve soil fertility, lowering the need for chemical fertilizers and encouraging healthier crop yields. The results of this  research can direct the creation of biogas systems that are both economical and effective, suited to the needs of small farmers. This will provide these farmers with a waste management solution, an environmentally friendly energy source, and a boost to agricultural productivity in the face of climate uncertainty.

  1. Why did you decide to study agricultural engineering?

The agricultural industry faces many different obstacles, and learning about agricultural engineering is essential to solving these issues. When it comes to creating creative solutions that improve farming techniques’ sustainability and efficiency, agricultural engineers are essential players. The need for food production is increasing due to the growing global population, so it is imperative to use cutting-edge technologies to maximize agricultural yields and guarantee food security. Studying agricultural engineering gave me knowledge in biotechnology applications, integrated renewable energy, and water management strategies, offering comprehensive solutions for crop resilience, water shortages, and the shift to sustainable energy sources. I decided to study agricultural engineering  in order to satisfy the changing needs of an expanding global population, promote resilience, and shape the future of agriculture, it is imperative that agricultural engineers pursue their studies.

  1. How are you going to use this research to further your career?

 By using this knowledge gained, I can create and execute efficient biogas systems that promote resource efficiency, creating employment and environmental sustainability. The research results generated can be used by educators and policy advocates to encourage the usage of anaerobic biogas technology, influencing laws and educating local populations.

  1. How can the DIVAGRI project help to promote biogas among small farmers?

There is great potential for the DIVAGRI project to encourage small farmers to use biogas technology on a large scale. DIVAGRI focuses on the interface between renewable energy and sustainable agriculture in order to offer customized solutions that meet the particular requirements and difficulties experienced by small-scale agricultural communities. By providing farmers with training programs, technical assistance, and financial support, the initiative can enable them to set up and manage productive biogas systems. DIVAGRI has the potential to improve local people’ perceptions and acceptance of biogas by raising awareness of its benefits through awareness campaigns and community participation. Furthermore, the initiative promotes revenue diversification by establishing market connections for excess biogas and associated products, which makes biogas systems financially feasible for small farms.