For the past couple of years, the Los Corrales farm in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, has only been using organic fertiliser (biol) supplied by its nine-cubic feet biogas system. This good practice has allowed for substantial progress in the certification process with the Rainforest Alliance.
Mr. Alejandro Jiron, owner of the farm, said that before implementing the biogas system, he used to use 800 pounds of chemical fertilisers for his coffee crops. Now, with the organic certification underway, he will get a better price for his coffee. He told us that the biodigester has increased his farm's productivity and has also had economic, environmental and health impacts. The biogas system provides 7.1 cans (of 20 liters each) of biol daily, which is then used for coffee, Taiwan grass and citrus. According to Mr. Luis Picado, foreman of the estate, they managed to also fight crop pests since biol makes plants more resistant and vigorous. In addition, they are also using biol for culturing a natural fertiliser called lombrihumus.
With the biodigester in place, Los Corrales has saved 4184 m3 of firewood per month and can now prepare food for five people daily.
Biogas systems have significantly improved people's quality of life by reducing indoor air pollution and respiratory diseases. The 900+ Nicaraguan farming families who are using biodigesters have not only improved their living conditions but they've also increased their farms' productivity and made significant savings by not buying chemical fertilisers and firewood anymore, said Judit Vanegas, Communications Advisor at SNV Nicaragua.
The National Biogas Programme is implemented by SNV Nicaragua, in partnership with Hivos through an investment of $6.2 million by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV, HIVOS and local contributions.