Farmers represent 80% of the rural poor population of Kenya, who depend on agriculture, mainly mixed farming, through rearing livestock and cultivating land for their livelihoods. The majority of these farmers, forming the main component of the rural poor rely on biomass as their main source of energy for both cooking and lighting.
Wood fuel accounts for about 68% of the total primary energy sources in Kenya, with the overall reliance on biomass being over 80%, with only 15% of Kenyans having access to the national electricity grid, resulting to heavy depletion of the country’s forest reserves and thus serious environmental degradation.
The biogas technology is an alternative energy source for cooking and lighting for the rural farmers. The biogas technology mainly utilizes the waste produced at the farm to produce clean renewable energy. The biogas plants also produce slurry as one of the by-products which can be utilized to improve soil fertility. However, farmers in Kenya have not exploited the use of this technology due to various reasons including limited awareness on the technology and limited disposable incomes from the farming activities. The overall goal of the Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) is promotion, dissemination and adoption of the domestic biogas technology as a local alternative sustainable energy source through the development of a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector.