A farmer’s passion sweetens smell of biogas

From the Regions


img040109_2.jpgControlling the odor from pigpens, if not totally eliminating it, has been the challenge for many swine raisers, especially in urban areas.

PCARRD’s Magsasaka-Siyentista (MS) Felimon ‘Boy’ Santander from Mandug, Davao City, a swine raiser and a biogas advocate, has come up with an alternative and environment-friendly farming technology to combat this problem.

Problem no more

MS Santander constructed his own modified biogas digester in his backyard in 1995. It eliminated the unpleasant odor coming from the pigpen, at the same time provided a free source of cooking gas. He also started to promote biogas and provide free fuel to his neighbors. Consequently, other pigpen owners requested Santander’s assistance in constructing their own biogas digester.

MS Santander’s modified digester’s features are simple. It uses concrete materials and ranges from 2 cubic meters to 20 cubic meters. Through his modified biogas digester, Santander has proven that biogas technology can also be used in small-scale, backyard pigpens.

From hobby to money

MS Santander, a political science graduate, was a government employee for eight years as a Sangguniang Bayan technical staff. During those years, swine raising was his hobby and source of additional income. With the need to have ends meet, he made the hobby a full time source of income in 1997.

Continuing advocacy

img040109_3.jpgHis skills in constructing a modified biogas digester gained popularity not only in Davao City but also in Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley Province, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Capiz, and in other parts of the country. He did this by conducting technology clinics and fora through the help of Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMARRDEC). Further, he advocated for agri-waste management and sludge utilization from biogas as organic fertilizer with SMARRDEC and B-Meg Philippines. Santander also founded the Mandug Peoples’ Cooperative with his neighbors who established their own pigpens and went into biogas technology as members.

At the recently concluded 8th Philippine Food Expo held at the SM Megamall Trade Hall in Pasig City, Santander’s biogas digester was also showcased through the auspices of SMARRDEC and PCARRD.

Activities

TIKAS Seminar on Copyright Law
Thu Nov 20 @08:00am - 05:00pm
CEM Foundation Day/CEM, UPLB
Mon Nov 24 @08:00am - 05:00pm
FFTC-PCAARRD Food Safety Workshop/El Cielito Hotel, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Tue Nov 25 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Seaweed Fiesta/USEP, Davao City
Thu Nov 27 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Training Course on Impact Assessment of R&D and Technology Commercialization Programs/PSRTI, Quezon City
Mon Dec 01 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Orientation-Training on Gender Mainstreaming Monitoring System (GMMS)DOST, Bicutan, Taguig City
Tue Dec 02 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Seminar titled Is Rice Research and Development Worth Investing In?/ Richmonde Hotel, Pasig City
Wed Dec 03 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Argentine Technical Mission to the Philippines regarding the project on Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing on Pests and Pesticide Management to Ensure Food Safety in the Philippines and Argentina/Manila and Los Baños
Tue Dec 09 @08:00am - 05:00pm
3rd Biennial Meeting of the SocioEconomic Research Portal (SERP-P) project of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)/ PIDS, Makati City
Wed Dec 10 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Exchange Scientists/Experts Mission Program under the 2014 PCAARRD-RDA Work Plan of Cooperation on Policies on Food Safety, Grades, and Standards/Manila and Los Baños
Mon Dec 15 @08:00am - 05:00pm