A Farmer’s Passion For Biogas Technology Turns To Sweet-Smelling Success and Advocacy
Controlling the odor from pigpens has been the challenge for many swine raisers, especially in urban areas. Unknown to many, PCAKRD’s Magsasaka-Siyentista (MS) Felimon `Boy’ Santander from Mandug, Davao City, a swine raiser and a biogas advocate, has come up with an alternative and environment-friendly farming technology to combat.
MS Santander constructed his own modified biogas digester in his backyard in 1995. It eliminated the unpleasant odor coming from the pigpen, at the same time provided a free source of cooking gas. He also started to promote biogas and provide free file] to his neighbors. Consequently, other pigpen owners requested Santander’s assistance in constructing their own biogas digester.
MS Santander’s modified digester’s features are simple. It uses concrete materials. His digesters range from 2m3 to 20m3. Through his modified biogas digester, Santander has proven that biogas technology can also be used in small-scale backyard pigpens.
MS Santander, a political science graduate, has been a government employee for eight years as a Sangguniang Bayan technical staff. During those years, swine raising was his hobby and source, of additional income. It never occurred to him that such would redeem him later he ran and lost the race for an elected position.
Needing to have ends meet, he resorted to his backyard pigpen and maximized the potential of his small livelihood. He self-trained; did lots of research to probe on animal diseases, breeding, and production.
It’s not unlikely for him to pursue wine raising full time. His parents raised all eight siblings through income derived from swine raising. His skills in constructing modified biogas digester gained popularity not only in Davao City but also in Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley Province, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Capiz, and in other parts of the country. He (lid this by conducting technology clinics and fora through the help of Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAKRDEC).