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

4th Joint S&T Committee MECO-TECO meeting
Tue Aug 19 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Regular Directors’ Council Meeting
Wed Aug 20 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Meeting with officials and staff of Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) re proposed Impact Assessment Training/PSRTI Office, Quezon City
Wed Aug 20 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Southern Luzon Cluster NSTW Exhibit and Technology Fair/ Ibalong Centrum, Legaspi City
Wed Aug 20 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Live interview in Pinoy Scientist over Radio Agila DZEC 1062 kHz, 5:00-6:00pm hosted by Custer Deocaris
Sun Aug 24 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Inception meeting re project on Ex-ante Analysis of PCAARRD Industry Strategic S&T Plan for Mussel/ParSU, Goa, Camarines Sur
Wed Aug 27 @08:00am - 05:00pm
WESMARRDEC Regional Symposium on R&D Highlights/Zamboanga
Wed Aug 27 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Consultation meeting with socio-economists and president of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) re future research collaboration/CBSUA, Pili
Thu Aug 28 @08:00am - 05:00pm
LBSCFI Infocom Meeting
Fri Aug 29 @08:00am - 05:00pm
Live interview in Pinoy Scientist over Radio Agila DZEC 1062 kHz, 5:00-6:00pm hosted by Custer Deocaris
Sun Aug 31 @08:00am - 05:00pm