Local farmers facing high fuel costs will soon be able to enjoy a cheaper source of homegrown fuel: biogas. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has announced it will roll out the first biodigester in Liberta, the third-largest town on the Caribbean island of Antigua this month.
The Ministry of Agriculture is embarking on a biogas project which could save farmers thousands of dollars in annual production costs, it estimates. The biogas system will be installed at Titan Farms Limited in the village of Liberta.
The system to be installed at Titan Farms and will be an enclosed structure which will allow for the biological breakdown of organic (plant and animal) matter as well as animal manure to produce biogas. The gas derived from the biodigester will then be used for lighting, cooking and for fuel for machinery on the farm such as generators and combustion engines.
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture is assisting the Ministry of Agriculture with funding for the biogas system.
“The cost of fuel is one of the biggest problems affecting Livestock farmers. The biggest expense for farmers in Antigua is the cost of fuel,” explains Agriculture Minister, the Hon. Hilson Baptiste, who is of the view that since agriculture is becoming increasingly scientific on Antigua and Barbud , it is up to the farmers to improve their level of production. He hopes that other livestock farmers incorporate the system on their farms as well.
Marvin Joseph, a proprietor of Titan Farms says the successful installation of the biogas unit will, “provide immense benefit for local farmers.” He says the unit could save livestock farmers close to $3,000 dollars in electricity bills per annum.
The Ministry of Agriculture is now seeking outside assistance in providing additional biogas systems for other livestock farmers across the country.