Extra Cash from Trash

For most farms, manure are pungent problems. But for a dairy farmer in Nueva Ecija, it smells like extra money.liseo C. Mislang, 37, of Barangay San Agustin, San Jose City in Nueva Ecija attested to this statement as he now enjoys the benefits of biogas technology through the use of his buffalo dung.

As a member of the Eastern Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative (EPMPC) in Barangay Sibut, San Jose City, he was one of the few who was able to apply for a bull loan program and got approved by the Philippine Carabao Center in 2011.

Seeing the benefits of the hybrid buffalo over the native ones, Mislang got approved again for the second time in 2012 adding up three more heads in his backyard for buffalo milk production. To date, he has now 24 heads of buffaloes and started to market their own produce of dairy products locally.

His fascination in taking care of these timid allies grew more as he and his wife Helen found a lucrative source of income to make both ends meet.

However, as their buffaloes grew in number, more wastes from these animals were becoming unmanageable to dispose.

Based on statistics, one buffalo can produce 14 kilos of manure per day and with the number of herds he has now, he has having a hard time disposing almost 10 cavans of animal manure in a day.

“In a day I got 10 sacks of buffalo dung. It is really a big drawback here on my farm,” he said.

Mislang tried remedies and resulted to putting it as an organic fertilizer in his Napier production area besides his animal shed without thinking the possibilities of making extra cash out of his animal wastes.

Meanwhile, as the PhilSCAT biogas technology program paved way in 2014, it has eyed Mislang’s farm and its concerns on waste management as potential co-operator under the EPMPC.

Mislang also saw the prospects of the technology and boldly embraced the responsibilities as one of PhilSCAT’s technology co-operator.

More savings

The biogas installation was finished on March 2015 together with the complete technology package from the stove and lamp up to technical supervision and monitoring of the technology.

“Since the biogas installation up to this date, I’m using the natural gas produced by the biogas digester for cooking and lighting purposes. Honestly, I am not aware anymore on LPG prices today because I saved up to 100% using this technology. This is really a big help to me and to my family,” Mislang happily shared.

According to Mislang, their budget allowance for LPG was even diverted for other necessities of their animals and in the farm.

The 6-cubic meter digester installed to Mislang’s farm can generate an average of 1.16 cubic meter of methane gas equivalent to almost 2 hours of cooking in a day.

His everyday routine includes putting half a sack of buffalo dung with some water in the digester twice a day.

“Most often, when I put half sack of buffalo dung in the digester, the pressure gauge is at 8 KPa already that is why I tend to put feedstock at least twice a day adequate to our cooking needs,” he said.

Based on his observation, he noticed that the methane gas production is very temperamental depending on the season. In summer time, the pressure can be gauged at 12 KPa equivalent to 1.55 cubic meter of methane gas while on rainy season, it can be gauged at 8 KPa much lower pressure than in summer time.

It means than the digester can produce more gas when the temperature rises particularly in summer and it can produce low gas in rainy season.

Helen uses biogas for cooking at the average of four hours per day. In the morning, she boils water for coffee, sterilizes buffalo’s milk and cook meals for their lunch and dinner.

Some farmers thought that the bad odor coming from the manure might affect the taste of their food using the biogas stove, but she attested that their meals were safe and taste just like other meals cooked in LPG.

“We also share this to our neighbors. We let them cook their food here especially on special occasions,” Helen proudly said.

Extra CASH indeed!

Another benefits of biogas technology that gave the couple a reliable source of income is the production of organic fertilizer –the slurry or the sludge that comes out in the outlet of the digester.

“We are collecting the sludge and happy to note that we can accumulate 10 sacks of organic fertilizers weighing 40 kilos and sell it to interested farmers at Php150 per sack,” Mislang happily shared.

He started selling his organic fertilizers last October 2015 to onion growers and vegetable farmers in their community. As of April 2016 he had sold 30 sacks of organic fertilizer already amounting to Php10,500 – which Mislang thought an extra income indeed!

According to research, organic fertilizer of the technology’s by-product improves the soil fertility. It is also loosens the soils and improves its ability to absorb more water.

Since then, the couple made sure to properly collect all the animal manure of their buffaloes not only because it is where they get the power to run their stoves and lamps but also as an additional source of income which can also contribute to the wellness of the environment.

As more dairy farmer cooperatives were amazed in this technology, Mislang biogas demo-farm became the top ‘show-window’ of PCC for educational tours.

To date, almost 100 plus dairy farmers from Ilocos Norte, La Union, Bohol, Isabela, Pangasinan, Visayas region and Mindanao have come to see the wonders the biogas technology had turned his farm into.

Mislang was beyond grateful to PhilSCAT for introducing this life saver technology which his family and neighbors now reap its favors.

“This technology gave me something I asked for. Not only I saved so much in electricity and on LPG and found an extra income in selling organic fertilizers, but most importantly, the technology taught me to care more for the environment and for the future generation as well,” he said. RRCarbonel



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