Programme activities

The programme has activities in the fields of promotion and marketing, construction, repair and maintenance, quality management, research and development, training and workshop, bio-slurry extension, institutional support, monitoring and evaluation. Promotion and marketing is a task undertaken by promoters mason teams as well as NGO and Provincial Programme Offices to create awareness on the advantages of biodigester technology. The NBP office undertakes supporting activities like the development and production of posters, brochures, leaflets, DVDs and the broadcasting of messages in national media. Construction, annual maintenance and repair are done by individual masons. These masons are only been allowed to operate after the successful completion of a technical training and under strict supervision of the provincial biodigester programme office. The individual mason teams are encouraged for form mason teams and in the long run the aim is that they will develop in registered companies. Quality Management: key aspect of quality enforcement and the long term success of the programme. The quality control (QC) is conducted by provincial supervisors and quality control on quality control (QC on QC) is done by NBP supervisors. Quality of construction and after sales service is checked randomly and, if not found as agreed upon, corrective measures are taken. Quality of operation and maintenance is closely monitored as well. Financing of the construction of biodigesters comprises out of a subsidy part and a farmers contribution. Besides lowering the financial threshold for farmers who have the technical potential but little financial means the subsidy serves as an important promotion tool and provides a tool to safeguard quality standards on plant construction and after sales service. A grant subsidy of US$ 150 is sufficient to attract potential farmers while not being significantly excessive. By providing a fixed sum subsidy for all plant sizes the smaller farmers get percentage wise a higher subsidy on their investment while the administration is simplified. The subsidy is channelled through the ACLEDA bank, the main rural bank for the cash plants and through PRASAC and Amret Microfinance Institution for the loan plants. Farmer who has technical potential and fulfil credit worthiness can receive loan amount from PRASAC or Amret to a maximum 1,000US$ with a special interest 1.2% per month and flexible repayment terms. Training and workshop: The quality of goods and services, pre-construction information, construction, user training and extension, provided to the clients is a key to the success of the programme. As the introduction of fixed dome biodigesters is relatively new to Cambodia, training of all parties involved in the programme is essential. This includes training of masons and provincial programme office staff in construction, maintenance, quality control, management, marketing, etc. Bank and (I)NGO staff will be trained in promotion and extension, users on operation and maintenance. Applied R&D focuses on development and testing of plant and appliances modifications in order to reduce cost and improve reliability and user friendliness. It comprises also activities to solve emerging technical problems of the present design. Bioslurry extension is the main focus on an optimal use of biodigester effluent. A special section for this purpose is established within the national programme office to determine the possible uses of the effluent in the Cambodian context and how to best reach the farmers with this message. The experiences with effluent use in countries within the region with running biodigester programmes are taken into account and close cooperation with line agencies and agricultural projects is sought on this topic. Overall, the below chart show the relationship between biodigester and clients: In addition to more technical R&D, monitoring and evaluation takes place to study the effects of promotion, training and extension activities. The programme, although limited in duration, has the larger aim of building institutions needed for the continued and sustained viability of the sector beyond the duration of the programme itself. Capacity building within existing institutions is therefore an activity of the programme. This implies that as much as possible the above mentioned activities will be conducted by national and provincial governmental organisations, private sector and (I)NGO’s.