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In Antigua and Barbuda, biodigestors will lead to energy savings

This is the first time such a project has been implemented on this island
IICA is providing technical support to a project aimed at increasing the incomes of small-scale producers.

Maximiliano Ortega training producers in the installation of the system

On this island nation, the use of biodigestors to produce natural gas is being promoted as an inexpensive and innovative solution to the problem of the rising cost of energy produced from non-renewable resources.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda, is implementing a pilot project in which small-scale producers receive training in the installation of biodigestors.

The system is both low cost and easy to use. A biodigestor consists of a hole in the ground which is lined with plastic and filled with a mixture of dung and water. The hole is sealed and the dung allowed to decompose for at least 50 days. The decomposing material produces methane gas, and the waste left at the end of the process can be used as fertilizer.

This is the first time such a project has been implemented on this island, located in a region where energy shortages are commonplace. In this case, the biodigestor was installed on Titan Farm, in Liberta Village.

The manager of the farm, Marvin Joseph, told the press that the project would have many benefits for the producers. For example, he said, they will save money because the gas produced in the biodigestor can be used in gas stoves, electric generators, and certain modes of transport.

The initiative began with a visit to the island by the IICA Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States, Una May Gordon. For his part, the IICA Representative in the Dominican Republic, Manuel Sanchez, also made a visit to advise the Ministry on matters related to agriculture.

The technical training the producers are receiving is being provided by Maximiliano Ortega, Technology and Innovation Specialist. According to Ortega, the goal is to spread this technology to other parts of the island, with IICA continuing to provide technical support and working with the Ministry.

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