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In 2006, the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and SNV Netherlands Development Organization joined to establish the Cambodian National Biogas Programme (NBP) to create an indigenous, sustainable energy source in Cambodia by utilizing biogas. Since 2017 MAFF continues the programme on its own, supported by carbon finance. Domestic biodigesters provide a way for individual households with lifestock to reduce their dependence on polluting firewood and expensive fossil fuels for cooking and lighting. Hivos supports the programme by facilitating the monitoring and verification of greenhouse gas emission reductions and marketing its carbon credits.

A clean renewable fuel

The benefits of biogas are two-fold: it provides a source of clean renewable fuel and an organic fertilizer (bioslurry) to be used to improve crop yields, thus leading to greater produce income. Selling more vegetables and fruits, as well as leftover slurry, provides families with extra income. Cooking on biogas is fast and smokeless. It eliminates the need to spend time on collecting firewood and improves the health of users, especially women and children.

Creating a biogas sector

The NBP programme develops self-sustaining, market driven national domestic biodigester sector. It is establishing independent enterprises in rural areas and builds their capacity on promotion, construction, internal quality control and aftersales services. Masons are trained together with local vocational institutions, and the programme offers variable employment opportunities across the supply chain.

By the end of 2019, over 28,000 biodigesters have been constructed in fourteen different provinces. An important success factor is a special biogas loan made available through three nationally operating microfinance institutions. Since 2010, over 70% of households have used a biogas loan to finance their biodigesters. They generally pay it back within two years. Since having a biodigester reduces time spent on kitchen activities, such as collecting fuel wood, cooking and cleaning pans, over a third of biogas families have been able to engage in new income generating activities.

Facts & Figures

Main partner: Cambodian National Biogas Programme (NBP)
Start of the programme: 2006
Results to December 2019:

  • 27,980 biodigesters constructed between March 2006 and December 2019
  • 78,853 direct beneficiaries (actively benefiting in 2019)
  • 64.4% of biodigesters still operational / i.e. 18,020 smoke-free kitchens
  • 3,52 tCO2 reduced on average per digester in 2019
  • 821,440 tCO2 reduced between May 2009 and December 2019
  • Biogas kitchen air pollution reduced with 88% (Particulate Matter 2.5), exposure levels down with 36%
  • 276,300 ton of wood saved since the start of the project
  • 17,364 households use bioslurry as fertilizer as of December 2019
  • $143,52 USD saved per household per year in cooking fuel expenditures
  • 117 minutes daily time saving per household
  • 118 private enterprises (Biogas Construction Agents) established of which 52 active



This programme is registered under Gold Standard.