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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcaster on biodigesters

The benefits of domestic biogas for rural households include:

  • Improved health and sanitation (for example, greatly reduced incidence of respiratory illnesses caused by smoke inhalation);
  • Increased agricultural production;
  • Reduced cost of fuel for lighting and cooking, and for chemical fertilizers;
  • Reduced use of non-renewable fuels;
  • Increased time for community and income-generative activities; and
  • Improved lighting (for example, so children can do homework in evenings and for chick brooding.)

(From Benefits of Biogas: http://africabiogas.org/blog/abpp-knowledge/benefits-of-biogas/)

There is a lot of information on biogas and biodigesters on this Practical Action website: http://practicalaction.org/biogas-answers

Take a look at the following recent news stories on biodigesters:

Cameroon: Farmers Turn Dung Into Power: http://allafrica.com/stories/201201051187.html

West Africa: Households Turning to Cow Dung for Energy:  http://allafrica.com/stories/201109200794.html

Farm Radio International has not distributed any scripts on biodigesters specifically, but has produced a few scripts on safer and cheaper sources of energy, and on composting human waste for use as fertilizer. Here are some examples:

SolarAid’s micro solar project in rural Tanzania: Tremendous solar energy potential http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/87-6script_en.asp

Biodiesel production: Generating income for small-scale farmers in Kenya http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/87-7script_en.asp

Women are actively involved in planting jatropha in a Malian village http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/87-4script_en.asp

ECOSAN latrines bring benefits to village health – and farming

http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/86-4script_en.asp

Farm Radio Weekly published the following story on alternatives to firewood for domestic use.

East Africa: Handmade banana briquettes could replace firewood (FRW # 66, May 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/05/18/2-east-africa-handmade-banana-briquettes-could-replace-firewood-bbc-news/\

If there are farmers, farmers’ groups, municipalities,  institutions or other organizations who are using biodigesters in your area, interview then in the studio, or – better yet – at the site where the biodigester is located. Have them “walk you through” how the biodigester works. Ask them how it can benefit individual farmers and farming communities, and ask about detailed purchase and installation costs.

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