National Biogas Program in Nicaragua Officially Launched

May 9, 2014

The National Biogas Program was officially launched in Nicaragua on the 10th of April 2014. Through campaigns under the motto “Biogas, energy to thrive”, the program is educating Nicaragua’s population on the benefits of biogas.

The event was hosted by the local project team in Boaco at one of the first farms in the country with a balloon biogas digester. “Now my cows not only produce meat and milk, but also biogas and fertilizer”, said José Adam Ortega, owner of the farm.

Biogas technology holds great potential for improving access to energy in rural areas of the country. Biogas plants can generate electricity and heating, organic liquid fertilizer and high-quality solids for soil amendment. When used for cooking, biogas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution, compared to other traditional fuels such as charcoal.

“This program not only benefits small and medium farmers, it also connects energy companies, financial institutions, technical training and local organizations to promote the establishment of new distribution channels , the emergence of new technologies and higher levels of competition allowing us to develop a biogas market”, said Carlos Melo, representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

With the support of Hivos, Nicaragua has become the first country in Latin America with a national biogas Program. Hivos now wants to replicate the experience in other countries around the region such as Bolivia, Perú and Guatemala.

“HIVOS is very pleased to participate in this Program, along with the IDB/MIF and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, to develop a national biogas market in Niacaragua and contribute with our overall vision and experience regarding gender equality issues, inclusive financial services and a sustainable development approach towards a healthier environment and a better quality of life”, said Raquel Chacón, Program Officer of Green Society in Central America, during the ceremony.

Together with SNV, Hivos is implementing the Program in Nicaragua, specifically in the departments of Boaco, Matagalpa, Chontales, León and Río San Juan. The total investment is 6.2 million dollars provided by the Inter-American Development Bank Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB/MIF), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV, Hivos and other contributions.