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

Regular Directors’ Council Meeting
Tue Sep 16 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Meeting with Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) regarding proposed impact assessment training/ PSRTI Office, Quezon City
Tue Sep 16 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Field Visit and Monitorinf of Meat Safety Proj./FNRI, DOST, M.M.
Thu Sep 18 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Joint Research Congress for Faculty and Students/Laguna Polytechnic University, Siniloan, Laguna
Thu Sep 18 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Joint Research Congress for Faculty and Students/Laguna Polytechnic University, Siniloan, Laguna
Thu Sep 18 @08:00am - 05:00pm
ISO External Audit
Fri Sep 19 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Consultative meetings for the Project on Food Safety, Grades and Standards as part of the Exchange Scientists/Experts Mission Program under the 2014 RDA-PCAARRD Work Plan of Cooperation/South Korea
Sun Sep 21 @08:00am - 05:00pm
International Seminar on Management and Remediation Technologies of Rural Soils Contaminated by Heavy Metals and Radioactive Materials/Taichung, Taiwan
Mon Sep 22 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Training-Workshop on Philippine Native Animal/NSPRDC-BAI, Tiaong, Quezon
Tue Sep 23 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Stakeholders Consultation Workshop for the Development of an Integrated Plan of Work for Abaca Rehabilitation/ Midas Hotel, Manila
Wed Sep 24 @08:00am - 05:00pm