Mr Ahmad is a member of the Bukkulu Livestock Group, an association for local cattle breeders, in Bukkulu Hamlet, Loka Village, Rumbia District, Jeneponto Regency, located in the South Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. He is the owner of a farm, where he grows red chilli peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and potatoes, and an enthusiastic supporter of biogas technology as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.
Never give up!
Mr Ahmad got acquainted with biogas from his son, who was performing agricultural work in Bantaeng Regency, in the South Sulawesi Province of Indonesia. His son’s experience pushed him to gather information on this clean technology. He visited his son’s workplace and there he met Mr Idris, a biogas user.
During this visit, he noticed that Mr Idris was using his biogas digester for cooking, discarding most of the bio slurry. Mr Ahmad’s instinct of a farmer made him think that the effluent can be used as fertilizer for his land, because they are made from cow dung. After all, he also often uses manure for his land. After a conversation with Daeng Sala, a family member involved in the BIRU programme, he was introduced to Mrs Rosmiyati Lantara from Rezki Abadi Limited Company, who is one of the Construction Partner Organization (CPO) in Jeneponto Regency. At that time, Mr Ahmad’s request to acquire a biogas reactor immediately got a rejection from Mrs Rosmiyati because he was not able to meet the requirement to have at least one livestock. Despite her refusal, Mr Ahmad did not give up. He raised goats and bought two cows, converting a portion of his chilli crop into sheds able to host his cattle. In 2018, Mr Ahmad’s proposal was finally approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and he decided to buy two more cows.
Mr Ahmad’s life with a biogas reactor
Once the biogas construction was completed, Mr Ahmad was not able to properly process the bio-slurry. In 2019, he attended training with Mrs Rosmiyati, who gave him basic and fundamental knowledge on the use and control of the bio-slurry. His dedication, interest and curiosity in understanding the processes, prompted Mrs Rosmiyati to pick his farm as one of demonstration plot locations to inform people on how to use the bio-slurry. The training represented a further leap forward for his activity. In addition to Mr Ahmad, there were four members of his group who participated in the demonstration activities accompanied by Mrs Rosmiyati. These are Nasir, Mansur, Ismail, and Karimun who also received biogas reactor assistance in the same year, as Mr Ahmad. After this demonstration training, Mr Ahmad began to gradually reduce the use of chemical fertilizers on his farm. At first, it was reduced to 80%, then 70%, and now only 40% of the total consumption comes from chemical fertilizers.
I used to pay 10 sacks of chemical fertilizer for one hectare of land, but now the bio-slurry covers most of my needs. Bio-slurry not only improved the quality of my harvest, but it has also cut down my production costs
Looking at Mr Ahmad’s outcomes, Mrs Rosmiyati carried out advocacy activities within the Department of Agriculture in the Field of Food Crops, the Office of Agriculture in the field of Animal Husbandry, the Office of Community Empowerment, the Office of the Environment, and the Development Planning Agency at Sub-National Level office (BAPPEDA) Regency, Jeneponto. Thanks to her advocacy efforts the Agriculture and Environment Service Officers visited Mr Ahmad’s and Daeng Sala’s farms. Mr Ahmad received financial support to build a compost bin, which was placed in his garden.
In November 2019, Rumah Energi, one of the BIRU implementers in Indonesia, bought Mr Ahmad’s liquid bio-slurry. This was distributed to tree planting companies for the anniversary of Rumah Energi. Mr Ahmad was not sure to take this further step, but in the end, he accepted the purchase. After this, other selling opportunities followed. People have begun to recognize MrAhmad’s bio-slurry packaging products and now almost every month someone buys his liquid bio-slurry for €6.25/litre.