Dairy farmers Gatot Laksono (52) and his wife Drika (37) live with their two children in a village called Pucangsari, Pasuruan on the North Coast of East Java, Indonesia. While the children are at school, Gatot and Drika follow a daily routine which revolves around the milking and feeding needs of their twelve cows. These cows guarantee a daily production of approximately 10 litres of fresh milk per cow. They are the main source of income for the family.
Partnering with Nestlé
Gatot explains: “Just like the other dairy farmers in Pasuruan, I deliver the fresh milk each morning to our local cooperative. There the milk is given a thorough quality check, after which it is transported to the factory of Nestlé Indonesia. Nestlé uses the fresh milk for the production of various products.” And then he proudly adds, “People all around Indonesia drink our milk.”
Besides the many litres of fresh milk, twelve cows also produce a large amount of dung. “In the past, we already used a part of this dung to fertilize our fields, but the excess was amassed at different locations at the farm.” The surplus dung made it difficult for the couple to maintain proper hygienic conditions. In order to achieve–and guarantee–higher health standards for both the milk production and the family, they decided to join the BIRU programme (ad link www.biru.or.id ) the Indonesia Biogas Programme.
The Indonesia Biogas Programme is managed by international organisation Hivos; it receives technical assistance from SNV and is funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Jakarta. In East Java, Hivos partners with Nestlé Indonesia in order to improve the livelihood of the 27,000 dairy farmers who are responsible for the delivery of Nestlé’s key basic ingredient: 550,000 liters of fresh milk per day. The BIRU programme helps rural households to turn their cow manure into clean and affordable energy: biogas. “We now feed all the dung into the biogas digester, thus creating a constant flow of biogas that we use for cooking and lighting,” says Drika. “Also, the farm is now a clean place to live and work on.” Plus, adds Gatot, “the slurry—that remains after extraction of the gas—is an even better fertilizer than the regular dung.”
Repaying with milk
Drika continues, “The purchase of the biogas digester was a big investment, one which we could not have financed on our own. Fortunately Nestlé provided a zero-interest loan of Rp 4,5 million (290 Euro) and Hivos paid the cooperative a subsidy of Rp 2 million (129 Euro).” The Hivos grant works as an incentive for the cooperative to build high-quality biogas digesters and to provide maintenance services for the period of the loan. Gatot and Drika repay their loan to Nestlé through their milk deliveries. “Since we no longer have to buy fuel for cooking and fertilizer for the fields, we have more to spend. So, paying off the loan is not hard,” says Gatot.
We all benefit
“We are not the only ones who are convinced of the benefits of biogas,” states Drika. So far a total of 7,200 farmers have been trained and have received support from Hivos and Nestlé Indonesia to improve their dairy farming by means of a biogas digester. The partnership stimulates rural development, mitigates climate change, increases productivity and last but not least, improves the quality of fresh milk. Also, the health and sanitary conditions of the dairy farmers improve. Drika sums it up nicely: “We all benefit!”
People around the world choose Hivos biogas to create healthy kitchens and green fields. Gatot and Drika’s story is just one of the many stories of the empowering effect of Hivos biogas.
If you compensate your CO2 emissions via Hivos biogas carbon credits, even more people in development countries can gain access to biogas and improve their lives. Compensate your CO2 emissions by buying carbon credits. Contact Hivos at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore the options.