The Biogas Pilot Programme was aimed to develop the market for biodigesters for small farmers (mostly those raising 2 to 10 livestock). Biodigesters convert manure into gas that is used for cooking and lighting, and provides very good fertiliser for crops.
Between 2007 and 2011, 2,405 household biodigesters were constructed in five provinces in Lao PDR. As a result more than 100 masons and 100 extension workers are active in the biogas sector. To date, farmers have contributed over 500,000 euros through private investments. Within a year they have typically saved an amount similar to their investment by spending less on fuel and fertiliser. The use of biodigesters has meant that the women and children who normally collect wood in the forest have saved some 1.5 million hours of labour time – an amazing result.