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

ILRI Regional Stakeholder Meeting on Livestock Research for Development in East and Southeast Asia/Penang Malaysia
Thu Apr 10 @08:00am - 05:00pm
PhilARM Convention/Iloilo City
Sat Apr 12 @08:00am - 05:00pm
NSTW Taskforce and Exhibitors Meeting/TAPI, DOST, Bicutan, Taguig City
Mon Apr 14 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Regular Directors’ Council Meeting
Tue Apr 15 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Review of Completed TTPD-monitored Projects
Tue Apr 22 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Knowledge Session on Event Management/San Pablo City, Laguna
Tue Apr 22 @08:00am - 05:00pm
PHILRAA convention
Wed Apr 23 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Technical Mission re Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing on Pests and Pest Management to Ensure Food Security and Food Safety in the Philippines and Argentina/Argentina
Wed Apr 23 @08:00am - 05:00pm
English Language Training Course Program for Koreans
Wed Apr 23 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Workshop on Self-Assessment of R&D Capacity for AAS Implementation/IRRI
Thu Apr 24 @08:00am - 05:00pm
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