Anaerobic digestion technology is improving the quality of life of Cambodian farmers, and Samir Khanal (Molecular Biosciences and BioEngineering) is helping to make that happen.
A few years ago he conducted a 4-day workshop on anaerobic digestion technology for field staff from Southeast Asian nations, at which he learned about the popularity of household digesters in Cambodia. Subsequently he was invited by the National Biodigester Program (NBP) of Cambodia to discuss and train NBP staff in the use of AD technology and digestate utilization, and this year he returned to visit three farmers who have adopted A.D. technology.
Cambodia is one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia, depending primarily on agriculture. Household digesters are becoming increasingly popular among farmers in its rural regions, with some 30,000 digesters in use in various provinces of Cambodia. Most are fed with cow/buffalo dung; after digesting it creates biogas, which can be used for cooking, and nutrient-rich digestate, which can be used as a biofertilizer, composted, or used for aquaculture applications to grow algae for fish feed.
The quality of life of rural farmers has been positively impacted by biodigester technology, which contributes to increased income, reduced deforestation, the curtailing of greenhouse gas emission, improved health and hygiene, and time saved for other productive activities.