STAFF REPORT FBD: As Pakistans agriculture sector is persistently facing the brunt of the energy crisis which has made it impossible for farmers to operate tube wells, a Netherlands-funded programme is promoting biogas as an alternate fuel to run tube wells.
Agriculturists say that they are handicapped as they cannot get water from canals or operate tube wells due to the prevailing energy crisis, and since most of the farmers come under the low-income bracket, they cannot go for expensive diesel oil to run the tube-wells.
“Currently, farmers are in disarray on how to irrigate their crops. Technological advancement in biogas plants has made it economically viable for farmers to fulfil their water needs,” said Rajesh B Shrestha, Senior Adviser at the Netherland Development Organisation.
Fermentation of cow dung and farm waste in plants was producing a fuel source to run the tube wells. Introduction of the technology will help lessen the water scarcity issue faced by the agriculture sector.
The cost of installing a biogas plant was Rs120,000, of which 20 per cent was borne by the Netherland-funded organisation in the shape of technical assistance.
Based on the requirement, different sizes of biogas plants were being designed. A plant size of 20 cubic metres can supply enough gas to power to run a tube well for 10 to 12 hours.

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