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

National Consultation Workshop on Genetic Resources for Wealth Creation/ Tagaytay City
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Field Visit for Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology Project and Integrated Coconut R&D Enhancement Program/Albay
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Abaca Inception Meeting “R&D Program on Abaca Fiber for Specialty Papers, Textiles, and Other High-End Products”
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Conduct Monitoring and Evalaution of SARAI Program/Cagayan de Oro
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
CY2014 Climate Change R&D Agenda Review and Planning Workshop/Bellevue Hotel, Alabang
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Present paper during Luzon Wide Consultation on Gender, Indigenous People and Climate Change Concerns and Organic Agriculture/Baguio City
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Conduct field visit to organic coffee project implemented by BSU/Benguet
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Training Course on Impact Assessment of R&D and Technology Commercialization Programs/PSRTI, Quezon City
Fri Dec 05 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Training Course on Impact Assessment of R&D and Technology Commercialization Programs/PSRTI, Quezon City
Fri Dec 05 @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
3rd Biennial Meeting of the SocioEconomic Research Portal (SERP-P) project of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)/Makati City
Wed Dec 10 @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
Thu Dec 18 @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/Metro Manila and Los Baños
Thu Dec 18 @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
Fri Dec 19 @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/Metro Manila and Los Baños
Fri Dec 19 @08:00am - 05:00pm