Happier pig farmers in a cleaner environment

A national programme to promote the use of biogas in Cambodia

Mr. Chhang Touch in his pig farm in Kompong Speu province, Cambodia.© EU GCCA+ 2018

Mr. Chhang Touch checks the light and the temperature inside the pigs pen at his pig farm in Kompong Speu province, Cambodia. By using a biogas power generator and gas storage he has reduced his bills while contributing to climate change best practices.

Mr. Chhang Touch is one of the pilot farmers that were able to reduce their electricity bill by 40 to 50%. The introduction of medium-scale biodigesters has allowed pilot farmers to reduce 600 tons of emissions of CO2eq, annually for each biodigester. Better animal waste management also benefits surrounding communities through a much improved environment and possiblity to use the bio-slurry produced by the biodigester as a natural fertilizer for their farming activities.

The EU-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), through the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance has supported the National Biodigester Programme (NBP) since 2016 to test and scale up the use of medium-scale bio-digesters (10-20 KW) in pig farms.  Pig farmers use firewood and LPG for cooking pig food, and purchase electricity from the local grid at very high cost.  In addition, unhygienic animal waste management practices result in pollution, foul odour, methane emissions and a relatively high prevalence of hygiene related diseases, such as diarrhoea.
Successful pilots in one province are now being disseminated further through farmer networks, and NBP is working with local financing institutions on dedicated financing products for farmers to scale-up the use of this technology nationwide.

The NBP has been operational in Cambodia since 2006 with the objective of reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions with locally constructed biogas plants. In the first six years, the national program has installed more than 20,000 biodigesters for use at household level, and established an in-country network in 14 of 24 Cambodian provinces of local financiers, construction companies, skilled masons, bioslurry specialists and after-care technicians.

GCCA+ in Cambodia

Changes in temperature and rainfall in Cambodia have already started since the second half of the 20th century. The projection for the next eighty years suggest that future temperatures in Cambodia will continue to rise, with potential declines in dry season rainfall, and delayed arrival of the wet season regardless of the potential increase in wet season rainfall.

In order to increase the resilience of communities against the impacts of climate change, initiatives supported by the EU-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), through the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance, have been developed in the country in the past years. The aim is to reduce emissions and increase people’s adaptation capacities.

Having started with just four pilot projects in 2008, GCCA+ www.gcca.eu is a main climate initiative for vulnerable countries, funded by the European Union, that supports 70 support intervetions of national, regional or global scope in more than 60 countries (of which 37 Least Developed Countries and 36  Small Island Developing States). By 2020, the GCCA+ total investments will raise to EUR 750 million, making it one of the largest climate initiatives in the world.

Mr. Chhang Touch checking the temperature in pig's pen at his pig farm in Kompong Speu province, Cambodia. © EU GCCA+ 2018