Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment aimed to reduce emissions from its agriculture sector but was concerned about preserving the economic and social benefits that this industry provides. Ecuador, therefore, requested technical assistance from the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) to identify ways to reduce emissions from livestock that might also open up other economic opportunities.
In response to Ecuador’s request, the CTCN gathered experts from the Spanish-based International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering, along with the Ecuadorian National Institute of Agricultural Research and the National Institute of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to conduct a technological and financial analysis of the country’s agriculture sector.
A technological analysis of various biodigesters was performed to identify the most relevant options for local conditions, and selected models were installed as part of a pilot programme at small and medium livestock farms. Training was conducted on installation and maintenance as well as monitoring of production and the use of by-products (primarily biogas and biofertilizers). The CTCN partners worked with farmers to calculate net emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from livestock activity, and produce a cost-benefit analysis of the technology and its contribution to income in livestock farming. Based on the positive results, the Ministry of Ecuador is exploring how to support the introduction of biodigesters in the agricultural sector. The International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering provided examples from other Latin American countries, including national biogas programmes, through a publication produced in Spanish and English. The document presents the biodigesters (their function, products, types), explains the basis for national biogas programs, and how they function.
The last deliverable of this technical assistance is a proposal to be included in the national programme. It presents the technology of biodigesters in small and medium agriculture producers in Ecuador, analyzes the current situation of technology, users, technology providers and main actors, proposes five-year goals, structure, functions, activities and budget of the National Biodigesters Program in Ecuador (PNBE).