SNV Nicaragua launches biogas plant to increase farm productivity


Tuma-La Dalia, Matagalpa, Nicaragua: On the 8th of March 2016, SNV Nicaragua launched its first medium-scale biogas plant for production purposes (ie. farm lighting and cooking). The event was attended by SNV Chief Executive, Allert van den Ham, union leaders, farmers and public institutions.

The plant was installed at Mrs. Gladys Bolt's farm, under the National Biogas Programme Nicaragua (PBN), which SNV executes with resources from the Multilateral Investment Fund IDB/FOMIN. PBN aims to facilitate access to clean energy for 6,000 small and medium agricultural firms and rural households in the provinces of Boaco, Matagalpa, Chontales, Jinotega and Rio San Juan through incentives to purchase biogas systems. The programme promotes the use of medium-scale biogas systems for production: in addition to generating gas for cooking, bio-digesters are used for lighting, grass cutting, milking systems, water pumps and more.

Mrs. Gladys Bolt is very satisfied with her new 27-m3 bio-digester: it ensures lighting for more than four hours in her kitchens and other areas of her farm and facilitates cooking for three hours a day. The bio-digester generates about 22 buckets of daily compost – the equivalent of more than 150 m3 per year – which will be used for improved pastures and cocoa and coffee crops. In two years, Gladys will recover her investment by saving on firewood, reducing her electricity bills and replacing chemical fertilisers with organic manure. Her health and the environment will also be positively impacted. "Considering these benefits, I have planned to install another plant at my coffee farm", she said.


Mr. Norman Fajardo, president of the Cattlemen's Association of Matagalpa (ASOGAMAT), urged farmers to adopt biogas technology, emphasising the improved quality of life and increased competitiveness of their farms. Access to energy allows families to reduce firewood consumption, prevents respiratory diseases and improves the productivity of farms by incorporating more eco-efficient production technologies.

In addition to supporting producers in gaining access to clean energy, PBN also performs rigorous quality control on the building and operation of biogas plants. It ensures training and technical assistance on the use of biogas for domestic and productive purposes, the use of organic manure and the implementation of good livestock production practices. PBN is implemented by SNV Nicaragua in partnership with HIVOS and is funded by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV, HIVOS and local contributions.

For more information, please contact Judit Vanegas at jvanegas@snv.org.