Programme Profile

Farmers represent 80 of the rural poor population of Tanzania, and depend on agriculture, mainly mixed farming, by rearing livestock and cultivating land for their livelihoods. The majority of these farmers forms the main component of the rural poor, and relies on biomass as the main source of energy for both cooking and lighting.

Wood fuel accounts for about 90% of the total primary energy sources in Tanzania, with the national reliance on biomass being over 80, with only 15 of Tanzanians having access to the national electricity grid. Only 2% of rural populations have access to electricity.This has resulted in the heavy depletion of the country's forest reserves and serious environmental degradation.

Biogas technology is a modern energy source for cooking and lighting for rural farmers. The technology mainly uses the waste produced on farms to produce clean renewable energy. The biogas plants also produce slurry as a by-product that can be used to improve soil fertility.
However, farmers in Tanzania have not exploited the use of biogas technology for several reasons, including a poor awareness about the technology, and limited incomes from their farming activities.

The overall goal of the Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme (TDBP) is the promotion, dissemination and increased adoption of domestic biogas technology as a local sustainable energy source, through the development of a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector.

TDBP is a component of the African Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), funded by the
Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs through two Dutch development NGOs - the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos), and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). The ABPP is part of a broader objective of DGIS, which is targeting the provision of sustainable energy to 10 million people in six African countries, including Tanzania, by the year 2017.

In Tanzania, TDBP will be implemented between 2009 and 2014 under the auspices of the National Biogas Steering committee (NBSC) which is chaired by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, and draws its membership from relevant stakeholders from both the private and public sectors. The Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade is the national implementing agency for this programme in Tanzania

TDBP is being implemented based on private sector market-oriented principles, but relying on Government support for a favorable regulatory and policy environment, as well as generalbuy-in, promotion and extension. The programme aims to achieve the installation of around 33,000 domestic biogas plants of between 4m3 - 13m3 capacities by December 2017( 2009-13-12,000 and 2014-17-20,700),prioritizing high-potential agricultural regions.

The successful implementation of this programme will positively contribute to the Government's goal of enhancing equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor, and improved energy access, and science, technology and innovation (STI) as stipulated in Tanzania’s MKUKUTA programme and Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) policy on Energy. Furthermore, the MEM policy envisages an increase in household energy demand from raised family incomes and urbanization against a backdrop of diminishing energy sources; hence the urgent need to develop alternative and renewable sources of energy such as biogas.

A survey of biogas use in Tanzania carried out by GTZ and the Ministry of Energy in 1997, and the Biogas Feasibility Study of 2007 funded by the Dutch Government, both confirmed an immense potential and demand for this technology in most high-potential agricultural areas. The studies also identified technical and financial constraints as the main challenges facing the promotion and uptake of biogas technology in Tanzania.
The technical constraints have now been addressed through the development of the fixed dome Modified CAMARTEC Design Model (MCD), which has undergone several researches and tests using local materials and skills since the introduction of biogas technology in the country.
Furthermore an innovative digester adapted to dry areas christened the “Solid State Digester” SSD (Water is vital for digesters) has been designed, tested and piloted successfully. A ratio of 1.0.25 dung to water/urine (reduced water need) is applied. Aim is to increase access to clean energy for people in semi-arid areas mostly agri- pastoral communities.

TDBP is promoting the use of bio slurry discharged from the bio digesters as fertilizer to improve agricultural production.

TDBP is working with various partners in the implementation of the programme, including the training of masons and users, promotion and marketing, plant construction and quality assurance, after sales service, development and distribution of biogas appliances, bio-slurry utilization, etc.

TDBP cherishes working in partnership in a multi actor approach, and is open to new partnership in reaching the rural communities in Tanzania