Biogas Business Boost Benefitting Farmers (4B-F)

From Energising Development
Jump to: navigation, search

Biogas Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Loading map...
Technologies biogas
Partners Tanzanian Ministry of Industry, Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MEP), Renewable Energy Directorate, Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD)
Implementers GIZ, Hivos, SNV
Outcomes Access to modern cooking energy:
  • 10,486 people

Title-Biogas benefiting farmers.jpg

Energy Situation

Agriculture dominates Kenya’s economy, as the greatest contributor to Gross Domestic Product. However, about half of its agricultural output is non-marketed subsistence production. There is potential for using biogas technology on small-scale farms to manage on-farm organic wastes (livestock dung/litter), and providing a clean, renewable source of energy for cooking, lighting, and more. The bioproduct of the biodigester (bioslurry) is a very effective natural fertiliser significantly improveing farm productivity. Nonetheless, the full potential of using biogas has so far been unexploited.

About 20,000 rural and peri-urban Kenyans have so far made the switch to biogas for cooking, as traditional fuels like kerosene and gas remain expensive. Demand for biogas has also been spurred by legislation restricting timber harvesting and intensifying waste management. However, the cost of installation is still beyond the reach of many Kenyans, and a significant number operate below capacity or are currently in disuse due to challenges with users management capacities, technical, or economic problems.

The history of biogas in Tanzania dates back to the mid-1970s when 120 floating-drum plants were installed. However, most of the plants have become unfunctional. Today, ABPP provides financial and technical support to the Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology for implementing the Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme (TDBP). By 2016, 13,523 bio-digesters had been installed providing access to clean energy to over 70,000 Tanzanians, mainly women and children. The aim of TDBP is to develop a market to facilitate the large-scale dissemination of domestic biogas in the country. The Rural Energy Agency (REA) is responsible for boosting modern energy services in rural areas and technical assistance for project development. However, the installed bio-digesters continue to face functionality and affordability challenges. The cost of installation is still above reach of many, therefore requiring a boost from credit institutions.

Despite the introduction of biogas to Uganda in the 1950s, the technology has not received considerable acceptance and as a result its penetration has remained low. Several installed biogas plants have failed, and those working do not fulfill the expectations of the owners. By 2016, more than 7,600 households had constructed biogas digesters through the support of the Uganda Biogas Programme as the national implementing agency, giving more than 45,600 people in rural Uganda clean energy for cooking and lighting.

For more information on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda see their respective pages on energypedia.


The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) in partnership with the Dutch government, Hivos and SNV have been supporting national biogas programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso since 2009 to develop a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector that will support the dissemination of domestic biogas plants as a local, sustainable energy source and organic fertilizer provider.

The Biogas Business Boost Benefitting Farmers (4B-F) programme rolled on and complement the efforts of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme phase II (ABPP-II 2014-2019) with the aim of accelerating demand for the domestic biogas digesters through incentivising the service providers and improving quality. It is a five-year programme (2015-2019) implemented in three countries: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This is a Result Based Finance (RBF) initiative aiming for improving the quality and the functionality of biogas digesters and at improving affordability by stimulating access to finance. The primary aim of the programme is to boost business, benefiting farmers. The objectives of the programme are:

  • To strengthen and soften the impacts of discontinuation of investment subsidy on the markets for bio-digesters in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
  • To provide effective quality control and after-sale service mechanisms, lowering the cost of provision of these services
  • To reduce transaction costs for developing and marketing biogas loan products by MFIs, ensuring biogas credit penetrates to poorer strata of society
  • To enhance regionalization for cross-border cooperation and knowledge transfer

The programme is implemented through application of two types of RBF incentives, namely the Credit Sanctioning Incentive (CSI) to Financial Institutions for stimulation of affordable credit availability and Quality Plant Incentive (QPI) to Biogas Construction Enterprises (BCEs) for stimulation of good after-sales services and customer care, combined with regional exchange and learning and business development support.This is translated in the Theory of Change below.