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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 2018, over 27,200 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 2018:

  • 27,231  biodigesters constructed between March 2006 and December 2018
  • 93,561 direct beneficiaries
  • 75.5% of biodigesters still operational / i.e. 20,560 smoke-free kitchens
  • 5,05 tCO2 reduced on average per digester per year
  • 759,000 tCO2 reduced between May 2009 and December 2018
  • Biogas kitchen air pollution reduced with 88% (Particulate Matter 2.5), exposure levels down with 36%
  • 29,5 averted deaths and 1,442 averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) realized from 2006 to 2014, with projection of 51 averted deaths and 2,519 ADALYs up to 2020
  • 257,300 ton of wood saved since the start of the project
  • 21,000 households use bioslurry as fertilizer as of December 2018
  • 3,028 biodigester-connected toilets as of December 2018
  • $143,52  USD saved per household per year in cooking fuel expenditures
  • 117 minutes daily time saving per household
  • 107 private enterprises (BCCs) established of which 53 active



This programme is registered under Gold Standard.