Case Study on Economic and Environmental Impact of Biogas Plants on Farmers in Pakistan

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CASE STUDY ON ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BIOGAS PLANTS ON FARMERS IN PAKISTAN

Submitted By: M. Zohaib Alam B.Sc Economics May 21, 2009 School of Social Sciences Beaconhouse National University

2007-2011

PREFACE
The following case study has further led me to begin construction of the first biogas plant, with the consultation of PDDC, at Ijaz Rahim‟s farm which is near Head Baloki. I wish to further add on to this case study at a later time and experiment with the technology to produce electricity and provide a fully organic residence for the crops and cattle at the BT Dairy Farm (see Image 8). To begin with, I have been designated about 5 acres of farm land, to house about 50 cattle, which in turn will provide all the gas, electricity, fertilizer, and bedding on that experimental farm land. I strive to set up the first fully organic farm in Pakistan, receive organic certification, and provide an environment free of pollutants.

IMAGE 1

IMAGE 2

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IMAGE 4 (Image from CNBC Interview)

IMAGE 5 (Image from CNBC Interview) IMAGE 6 (JK Dairies)

IMAGE 7 (JK Dairies) IMAGE 8 (15m³ plant to be installed)

Pakistan is blessed with many resources but simultaneously deprived of some important ones. Starting from a high population of cattle and labor to an energy crisis which seems like it won‟t go away; and as reported by the IPP in their 2009 annual report it counts for 2% loss of Pakistan‟s annual GDP, which amounts to about $1 Billion. Pakistan is in dire need to adopt alternative measures, such as renewable energy sources, which best suit its resources endowments. One way to adapt to the problem is to use abundant resources to produce scare resources. Biogas is the alternative that Pakistan has experimented as early as the 1970‟s but it wasn‟t until recently that this project has taken a vitally important step for the development of Pakistan; especially for the agricultural sector and the rural masses. Biogas being a cheap alternative technology for energy production, which is not only environmental friendly but safe for the health and beneficial in more ways for a dairy farmer then one can ever imagine. This alternative technology is very useful especially since Pakistan is going through the process of what is being called the “White Revolution”, a revolution that is being supported by the government and NGO‟s to pull Pakistan into the leading milk producing position of the World. With the growing demands of cheaper and competitive quality milk Pakistan is striving to become the largest producer of milk, from its current rank which is the 4th largest. (Dairy Pakistan: Leading the White Revolution). According to a 2006 consensus Pakistan is home to a population of 29.56 million cattle and 27.33 million buffaloes, totaling over 50 million all together. From this we can agree with the notion that since we have an abundant resource of cow and buffalo waste matter to produce Biogas, as a developing country Pakistan needs to adopt this technology much quicker, so as to substitute it for some of our energy needs. According to the World Bank, Pakistan‟s population is over 162 million; and the domestic energy demands have been increasing by 24% per annum. (Zafar Illiyas BSP Is a Reason for its Success in Pakistan). In 2000 Biogas Support Program was launched by the government of Pakistan to increase the knowledge and applications of Biogas Plants. In between Pakistan‟s Biogas Support Program, Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technology, and Pakistan Dairy Development Company, over 240,000 Biogas Plants have been installed in Pakistan. Though due to lack of maintenance and proper education, most of these biogas plants are not operating on full capacity; which is regarded as a major discouragement for other farmers to adopt this technology.

The increasing concentration towards the agriculture sector by the government, who is providing 50% subsidies on plant sizes of 5m³ up to 35m³, had...
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